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Biden Reacts to Rittenhouse Verdit: “The Jury System Works”

Biden Kyle Rittenhouse
President Joe Biden reacted to Kyle Rittenhouse’s not guilty verdict outside the White House on Friday. Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikipedia Commons

President Joe Biden reacted to Kyle Rittenhouse’s not-guilty verdict on Friday, saying that the United States jury system works and that the decisions it renders need to be abided by.

“Look, I stand by what the jury has concluded,” the President said. “The jury system works and we have to abide by it.”

Biden made his comments after being approached by reporters in front of the White House as he was returning from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he underwent a colonoscopy procedure.

The White House later released a statement on the verdict where Biden said:

“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.”

Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old man who was on trial for killing two people and injuring another during protests held in August 2020 over the police shooting a young black man named Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The jury deliberated for over 26 hours before finding Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts.

The trial was yet another flashpoint in the US, which has been rocked in the last several years over instances of police brutality and the resultant riots which went on for many months during 2020.

Rittenhouse was charged with four felonies. The first count, reckless homicide and use of a dangerous weapon, was punishable by up to 60 years in prison.

Rittenhouse trial scene of further demonstrations while jury deliberated

The second count, that of first degree recklessly endangering safety and use of a dangerous weapon, is connected to the shooting of protester Joseph Rosenbaum. This charge was punishable by 12 1/2 years in prison.

The third count, that of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and use of a dangerous weapon, involves the part of the melee in which an unknown man leaps at Rittenhouse and tries to kick him just before Anthony Huber pushes his skateboard toward him. This charge was a felony punishable by 12 1/2 years in prison.

The fourth count, that of first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, involves the death of Huber. In the video of what happened that might, Huber leaps at Rittenhouse, swinging a skateboard at his head, attempting to grab Rittenhouse’s weapon before Rittenhouse fires at him.

Tempers had already come to a fever pitch before the verdict as demonstrators swarmed the courthouse as the jury deliberated for days, deciding the fate of Rittenhouse, who shot the three men in a melee that occurred as part of the demonstrations there against the police shooting of Blake.

At the trial it came to light that on the night of August 25, 2020, Rittenhouse had been attacked by the men, kicked in the face and hit over the head with a skateboard by them. Rittenhouse then opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle that he had brought to the scene. One of the men he hit, Gage Grosskreutz, was holding a handgun.

Rittenhouse was arrested the next day in Antioch, Illinois. His defense lawyer Mark Richards said at the time “This is classic self-defense, and we care going to prove it, we will obtain Justice for Kyle no matter how hard the fight or how long it takes.”

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