This article contains commentary and opinions.
The responses to Kyle Rittenhouse’s not guilty verdict from left-wing and liberal politicians, public figures, and organizations ranged from angry, to mischaracterizations, to outright falsehoods.
On Friday, a jury in Kenosha, Wis., found the teen not guilty of murder or reckless endangerment in the shooting deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, as well as the injury of Gaige Grosskreutz. The charges stemmed from incidents that occurred on the night of Aug. 25, 2020, after Rittenhouse went to the city to help clean up graffiti and protect businesses from rioters and looters who went on a rampage for days following the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, who was reaching for a knife.
The Daily Wire adds:
Rittenhouse said in court that he was running to help put out a fire when a mob began chasing him and someone threw a rock at his head, causing him to fall. One of the men he shot and killed attempted to take his gun from him, which prompted him to shoot in self-defense. The other man he killed attacked him with a skateboard before Rittenhouse fired. Grosskreutz ran up to Rittenhouse while pointing a gun at the then-17-year-old’s head when he was shot.
Rittenhouse and his attorneys argued self-defense, a claim that was backed up by video evidence and witness testimony.
Despite all the evidence and facts of the case, Leftists committed to the narrative that Rittenhouse was guilty took to Twitter and mainstream media outlets to give their opinions.
Here is a collection of some of the most outrageous and incorrect hot takes following the verdict:
President Joe Biden: “While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” he noted 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.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.): “America today: you can break the law, carry around weapons built for a military, shoot and kill people, and get away with it. That’s the message we’ve just sent to armed vigilantes across the nation.”
Rittenhouse’s AR-15 that he carried was not “built” for the military; it was a civilian model rifle. Also, he wasn’t in Kenosha to be an “armed vigilante,” according to the jury’s verdicts.
Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D-Ill.): “Carrying a loaded gun into a community 20 miles from your home and shooting unarmed citizens is fundamentally wrong.”
Reports have noted that Rittenhouse got the rifle from a friend in the city; he did not ‘carry it into the community’ from his home ’20 miles away.’
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY): “Kyle Rittenhouse is living proof that white tears can still forestall justice. A murderer is once again walking free today — our system is terribly broken.”
Rittenhouse was literally cleared of two murder charges after trial by jury, which all Americans are entitled to under the U.S. system of justice.
Dyjuan Tatro, senior adviser to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: “I do not believe that convictions equal justice. But I am convinced that the ‘not guilty’ verdict constitutes a great injustice today. The American legal system is rooted in racism and functions to uphold white supremacy.”
All of the people involved in the incidents with Rittenhouse were white; there were no ‘victims of color.’
The ACLU had one of the most outrageous responses.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): “Despite Kyle Rittenhouse’s conscious decision to travel across state lines and injure one person and take the lives of two people protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake by police, he was not held responsible for his actions. Unfortunately, this is not surprising,” the group said in a statement.
“His acquittal comes after our investigation exposed how Kenosha law enforcement used violence against protesters and drove them toward white militia groups, in ways that escalated tensions and almost certainly led to these shootings. It is far too easy to overlook the impact that violence in defense of white supremacy has on the Black and Brown communities. When the community rose up to exercise their First Amendment right to protest after the police shot a Black man in the back — in front of his children, police enabled white supremacist militia members.”
Where to begin? First, Rittenhouse was not a member of a “white supremacist militia” or any other militia. Secondly, the First Amendment guarantees the right to protest, not to attack others, loot businesses, and destroy property. Video shown during Rittenhouse’s trial clearly demonstrated to jurors that he was being pursued and attacked, including by one person who was armed with a handgun, and that he responded in self-defense. And while Rittenhouse did ‘travel across state lines,’ the insinuation that he was a) armed when it did so, and b) did so with an intent to harm others is false, as noted by the evidence presented in his defense.
These assertions by a legal organization are eye-opening.
ACLU of Maryland: “Dangerous, disgusting, unacceptable white supremacy in #RittenhouseVerdict.”
Becky Pringle, head of the National Education Association: “When a 17-year old is able to come into another community, brandish an automatic weapon, kill two people, and avoid accountability, justice has not been served. We must be able to walk down our streets, exercise our right to protest safely, and be treated equally under the law.”
Rittenhouse was not carrying an ‘automatic weapon’; his AR-15 was a semi-automatic rifle, as fully automatic weapons are heavily regulated by the federal government and require special licenses. Also, rioting and looting and attacking others is not protesting ‘safely.’
Congressional Black Caucus: “It is unconscionable our justice system would allow an armed vigilante — who traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz — to go free.”
This borders on libel; Rittenhouse was not an “armed vigilante,” as evidenced by the jury’s decision.
Here is a smattering of other responses:
Colin Kaepernick: “We just witnessed a system built on white supremacy validate the terroristic acts of a white supremacist. This only further validates the need to abolish our current system. White supremacy cannot be reformed.”
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace: “Ha, let the boy be black and it would’ve been life…hell he would’ve had his life taken before the bullshit trial. Sad.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY): “This heartbreaking verdict is a miscarriage of justice and sets a dangerous precedent which justifies federal review by DOJ. Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest.”
Rep Cori Bush (D-MO): “The judge. The jury. The defendant. It’s white supremacy in action. This system isn’t built to hold white supremacists accountable. It’s why Black and brown folks are brutalized and put in cages while white supremacist murderers walk free. I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m heartbroken.”
Josh Gad: “It has now been put it out there that vigilantes can just go and kill people protesting issues like racial equality whenever they want and get away with it. Think about that for a second,” Gad tweeted.
READ MORE: Harvard Professor Declares That Kyle Rittenhouse Should Not Only ‘Be Acquitted’ But That He Should Turn Around at Set His Sights on The ‘Deliberate And Willful Lies’ Produced by the Mainstream Media
“An 18 year old who gunned down 2 men in cold blood & got away with it is being hailed as a hero today by many,” he added. “You can choose to stand with them, or you can choose to fight back against this frightening s*** & vote against those who would cheer this f***er & offer him internships.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA): “Racism & white supremacy remain the bedrock of our legal system. My heart breaks for the family & loved ones of those whose lives were stolen, and the trauma our communities face today and every day.”
Nikole Hannah-Jones: “In this country, you can even kill white people and get away with it if those white people are fighting for Black lives,” Hannah-Jones tweeted. “This is the legacy of 1619.”
“But Trayvon Martin deserved to die because he fought back against an aggressor with no weapon. This is the legacy of white supremacy in action,” she added.
Cary Elwes: “Another disappointing victory for White vigilantism.”
Van Jones: “This idea of white vigilante violence is something that we have to wrestle with… We have got a pattern now, where white men feel that they have the right to enforce the law themselves.”