President Joe Biden said Friday he supports the jury’s decision to declare Kyle Rittenhouse innocent on all five charges against him.
Returning home from a routine check-up at Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland, Biden told reporters that he had not watched the trial.
“Look, I support what the jury concluded,” Biden said, in response to a question about the president’s previous comments about Rittenhouse. “The jury system works and we have to adhere to it.”
Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted by a seven-woman and five-man jury of shooting two people and wounding another on the night of protests, riots and violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020. declared self-defense, and this claim is largely corroborated by video footage of the shooting.
When the jury announced the verdict earlier Friday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the administration is in contact with local law enforcement amid potential post-verdict unrest. On Friday outside the Kenosha courthouse, some protesters chanted leftist slogans against the US criminal justice system.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, called for calm on Friday after the incident.
“No sentence can restore the lives of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum or heal the injuries of Gyge Grosskreutz, just as no sentence can heal the wounds or injuries inflicted on Jacob Blake and his family,” he said in a statement. “None of today’s ruling is changing our reality in Wisconsin, which we must make to achieve the equality, accountability and fairness that communities in our state demand and deserve.”
Evers urged “any effort or action to divide the crops is undesirable in our state as it will only hinder this healing.”
Rittenhouse was charged with murder, attempted murder and reckless threat for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style firearm in the summer of 2020 during a stormy night of riots and arson in Kenosha. Rittenhouse, who said he was training to be an EMT firefighter, said he acted in self-defense and went to Kenosha to defend the property from rioters and arsonists.
On the most serious charges, Rittenhouse could receive life imprisonment if convicted. The other two charges are punishable by imprisonment for more than 60 years.
Family spokesman David Hancock told reporters outside the courthouse that Rittenhouse plans to study nursing when he goes to college.
“I think in the future you will see some good things that come from Kyle,” Hancock said. “He’s a very, very pragmatic young man who’s been through a lot.” He continued, “He is innocent and can now live a free life. There are no winners in this. “