What they’re saying: Politicians react to Kyle Rittenhouse verdict
By WBAY news staff
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 1:07 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2021 at 8:47 PM CST
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - After two weeks of testimony and four days of deliberation, a jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges in the deadly shooting of protesters in Kenosha last summer.
Rittenhouse was facing five counts--including two counts of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide--for shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 27. The violence came during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. CLICK HERE for more on the case, the trial and the verdict.
On Friday, the jury came to the unanimous conclusion that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was not criminally responsible. His attorneys argued that Rittenhouse acted in self defense.
President Biden, national and state politicians and candidates had starkly different reactions to the verdict based on political party. Here is a look at that reaction. Following statements from the president, governor and U.S. senators, these are not presented in any particular order.
“No verdict will be able to bring back the lives of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, or heal Gaige Grosskreutz’s injuries, just as no verdict can heal the wounds or trauma experienced by Jacob Blake and his family. No ruling today changes our reality in Wisconsin that we have work to do toward equity, accountability, and justice that communities across our state are demanding and deserve.
“Kenoshans are strong, resilient, and have spent the last year working every day together toward healing. This case and the resulting national spotlight on the Kenosha community and our state have undoubtedly reopened wounds that have not yet fully healed. I echo the calls of local Kenosha community leaders and join them in asking everyone who might choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights in any community to please only do so safely and peacefully. We must have peace in Kenosha and our communities, and any efforts or actions aimed at sowing division are unwelcome in our state as they will only hinder that healing.
“I’ve seen the pain and the frustration of so many, and we must remain steadfast in our commitment to ending violence in our communities, supporting victims and survivors as they heal from trauma, and rooting out the disparities that are so often inextricably linked to that violence and trauma. We must be unwavering in our promise to build a state where every kid, person, and family can live their life free of violence and have every chance to be successful.
“We must move forward, together, more united and more motivated to build the sort of future we want for our state—one that is just, one that is equitable, and one where every person has the resources and opportunity to thrive—and I will not stop working to achieve that vision.”
I believe justice has been served in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. I hope everyone can accept the verdict, remain peaceful, and let the community of Kenosha heal and rebuild.
Congratulations to Kyle Rittenhouse for being found INNOCENT of all charges. It’s called being found NOT GUILTY—And by the way, if that’s not self defense, nothing is!
We have a difficult road to justice in America, and the verdicts we just witnessed in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial are just another example. While we can easily view this as a setback, we have to transform this moment. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/Ru4ZCcJ3T6
Yet again, we’ve seen our criminal justice system fail the people it was supposed to protect. Kyle Rittenhouse crossed state lines with an intent to cause trouble. As a result of that, two families will never see their loved ones again. 1/2
Justice, not convictions, is the mission of any prosecutor. The not guilty verdicts in the Kyle Rittenhouse case are a clear example of justice prevailing and affirming one’s right to self-defense. Given the evidence presented, I would not have filed charges in this case.
“The outcome of this case is, unfortunately, reflective of what I see in my community every day regarding how people of color and their allies are treated.
“Black children and men are treated as suspects and perpetrators while walking the streets - or simply playing in their yards. It is a damn shame that too often this leads to them paying with their lives. Our society and our justice system treats white individuals differently than it does our communities of color, and we cannot allow that to continue to happen.
“My heart is with the families of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum as well as with Gaige Grosskreutz and his family.”