The ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s weighed in on the Rittenhouse trial last week, spreading false information that sparked mockery and criticism online.
“The #RittenhouseTrial displays yet again that our ‘justice’ system is racist. How would this trial be going if he was a Black 17 yr old that crossed state lines illegally carrying an AR-15 and shot 3 white protesters? We need real justice in the legal system. This isn’t it,” the ice cream company said from its official Twitter account on Thursday.
The #RittenhouseTrial displays yet again that our “justice” system is racist.⁰⁰How would this trial be going if he was a Black 17 yr old that crossed state lines illegally carrying an AR-15 and shot 3 white protesters?⁰⁰We need real justice in the legal system. This isn’t it.
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) November 12, 2021
Critics ripped the brand online for weighing in on the trial and spreading a repeatedly debunked narrative, that Rittenhouse carried his rifle across state lines, in the process.
“Again, this case has nothing to do with race. These people have broken brains and have normalized an idiotic and bigoted view of the world. And now major brands promote this garbage,” the popular conservative Twitter pundit AG responded. “And btw they don’t even know the basic facts of the case. No one crossed state lines with an AR-15. @benandjerrys has devoted an insane amount of time promoting garbage and I hope their consumers take note.”
Podcaster and media critic Stephen Miller said, “The whole narrative blew up in their faces so they’ve now created a fictional teenager and story to fit the old one.”
Podcaster Tim Pool wrote, “Even ice cream lies.”
Rittenhouse is currently facing six charges, five felonies and one misdemeanor, for killing two men and wounding a third during violent riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. While he lives in Antioch, Illinois, Rittenhouse has testified, and officials have stated, that the teen had kept his rifle stored in Wisconsin and had never brought it home to Antioch.
The narrative pushed by Ben & Jerry’s has been debunked at least since October of last year when the state’s attorney office for Lake County, Illinois, released a statement stating that investigators cleared Rittenhouse of the allegation.
“An extensive investigation was conducted by the Antioch Police Department regarding the gun used in a shooting in Kenosha on Aug. 28. The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office has reviewed that investigation to determine if any crimes were committed in Lake County, Illinois,” the office said in a press release. “To that end, the investigation revealed the gun used in the Kenosha shooting was purchased, stored and used in Wisconsin. Additionally, there is no evidence the gun was ever physically possessed by Kyle Rittenhouse in Illinois.”
The jury in Rittenhouse’s trial is expected to begin deliberations after arguments are wrapped up by the prosecutions and his defense. Rittenhouse is facing six total charges: five felonies and one misdemeanor. The felony charges are intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment. The misdemeanor charge is underage possession of a deadly weapon.
Ben & Jerry’s is well-known for its activism on behalf of its owners’ political leanings. Earlier this year, the ice cream manufacturer announced that it would now longer be selling product in the biblical areas of Judea and Samaria in Israel which the company deemed “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”