Democrat President Joe Biden responded to a jury finding Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts Friday by saying he was “feeling angry and concerned” by the outcome.
The remarks from Biden came in a formal White House statement and follow comments that he made earlier in the day when he said that stood by “what the jury has concluded” because “the jury system works and we have to abide by it.”
“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” Biden said in a statement. “I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. I know that we’re not going to heal our country’s wounds overnight, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, with fairness and dignity, under the law.”
“I urge everyone to express their views peacefully, consistent with the rule of law,” Biden added. “Violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy. The White House and Federal authorities have been in contact with Governor Evers’s office to prepare for any outcome in this case, and I have spoken with the Governor this afternoon and offered support and any assistance needed to ensure public safety.”
A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of murder on Friday afternoon for fatally shooting two men and injuring a third during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Daily Wire reported:
Rittenhouse, who is now 18, lives in Antioch, a northern suburb of Chicago about 15 miles from Kenosha. On August 25 of last year when he was 17, Rittenhouse decided to patrol the downtown Kenosha area alongside other armed men in order to protect a used car dealership from looting and vandalism. The city had devolved into rioting over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white Kenosha police officer.
Rittenhouse took a medical kit and armed himself with a Smith & Wesson M&P15, which is an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle that police say his friend illegally bought for him.
While guarding the used car dealership, he was chased by protesters and ended up fatally shooting two people, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injuring a third, Gaige Grosskreutz. The defendant and the three men he shot are all white.
He was arrested and charged with five felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. The most serious charge was intentional homicide, Wisconsin’s top murder charge, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The others were reckless homicide, attempted homicide, two counts of reckless endangerment, and being a minor illegally in possession of a firearm.
On Monday, the judge dismissed the misdemeanor firearm charge, which was considered the easiest charge for the state to prove. Previously, Rittenhouse was also charged with violating curfew, but that charge was dismissed last week by the judge as well.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better jury to work with and it has truly been my pleasure,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said after delivering the verdict. “I think, without commenting on your verdict, the verdicts themselves, just in terms of your attentiveness and the cooperation that you gave to us, justifies the confidence that the founders of our country placed in you so I dismiss you at this time.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.