A nearly all-white jury in Wisconsin found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty in the fatal shooting of two men and wounding another during protests in Kenosha last year.
On Nov. 19, a jury of seven women and five men, who deliberated for over three days, cleared Rittenhouse on all five charges for his actions on Aug. 25, 2020 during protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white police officer.
Rittenhouse, now 18, was charged with reckless homicide in the death of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, intentional homicide in the death of Anthony Huber, 26, and attempted intentional homicide for severely wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.
Rittenhouse also faced two counts of recklessly endangering safety.
All the men Rittenhouse shot with his AR-15-style weapon were white.
Rittenhouse was 17 years old when he had travelled to Kenosha from nearby Antioch, Illinois with a semi-automatic rifle. He said that he wanted to help protect private property during the unrest.
Last week, Rittenhouse claimed self-defense in his testimony.
The verdict prompted mixed reactions from the community, including from politicians.
Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes said that the verdict was an “example” of a “difficult road to justice in America.”
Huber’s parents said in a statement that the verdict “sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence.”
Meanwhile, the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office said that it respected the verdict and called for citizens to “continue to express their opinions and feelings about this verdict in a civil and peaceful manner.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called for calm, but deployed hundreds of National Guard troops in preparation for anti-verdict protests.
President Joe Biden also urged Americans in a statement to “acknowledge that the jury has spoken” and “to express their views peacefully.”
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