One of the most controversial and highly publicized trials in recent history has drawn to a close, with Kyle Rittenhouse being found not guilty on all counts.
18-year-old Rittenhouse shot and killed two men during protests in Kenosha on 25 August 2020.
The teenager always claimed he acted in self defense, and now he has been freed and cleared of all charges.
Sheriffs in Portland, Oregon declared a riot downtown after “violent, destructive behavior by a significant part of the crowd”.
To those gathered near the Justice Center: This gathering is a riot. All persons leave the area now. Travel to the west. Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to detention, citation and or arrest. You are subject to force to include pepper spray and impact weapons.
— PPB Event Messages (@PPBAlerts) November 20, 2021
A number of videos from Oregon have been uploaded to social media, showing tense scenes between police and angered members of the public.
Portland, Oregon currently
— United States News Block (@USNewsBlock) November 20, 2021
Breaking: Riots are ongoing in Portland, Oregon, after the Rittenhouse verdict. pic.twitter.com/lmRRlCj1fe
— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) November 20, 2021
After the unrest, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley called for any protests following the verdict to be peaceful.
“We ask that all members of the public accept the verdicts peacefully and not resort to violence,” he wrote in a statement on Friday.
The Judge at the centre of the case, Bruce Schroeder, who was accused of bias, has praised the ‘wonderful’ Jury after the verdict.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better jury to work with, and it has truly been my pleasure,”
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson tweeted the trailer for a documentary about the trial, to be released next month.
The clip shows Rittenhouse speaking about the verdict in a car after leaving the courthouse.
“I believe they came to the correct verdict, and I’m glad everything went well.
“It’s been a rough journey, but we made it through it.
“We made it through the hard part.”
December. Tucker Carlson Originals. Fox Nation. pic.twitter.com/Pf8xOInARn
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) November 20, 2021
President Biden has spoken about his ‘anger’ at the verdict.
He said in a statement:
“I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it.”
“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken.”
Rittenhouse responded to a previous tweet of the President’s linking the teenager to white supremacy.
There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
Rittenhouse said to Tucker Carlson:
“Mr. President, if I can say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement,” the 18-year-old said.
“It is an actual malice and defaming my character for him to say something like that.
Kyle Rittenhouse's message to President Biden:
"Mr. President, if I could say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement."
"It's actual malice, defaming my character for him to say something like that." pic.twitter.com/3pskxUWYyV
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) November 23, 2021
The family of victim Anthony Huber, who was shot dead by Rittenhouse, have echoed the President’s sentiment.
Their statement reads:
“We are heartbroken and angry that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted in his criminal trial for the murder of our son Anthony Huber. There was no justice today for Anthony, or for Mr Rittenhouse’s other victims, Joseph Rosenbaum and Gaige Grosskreutz.
“We did not attend the trial because we could not bear to sit in a courtroom and repeatedly watch videos of our son’s murder, and because we have been subjected to many hurtful and nasty comments in the past year. But we watched the trial closely, hoping it would bring us closure.
“That did not happen. Today’s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son. It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street. We hope that decent people will join us in forcefully rejecting that message and demanding more of our laws, our officials, and our justice system.”
Huber’s girlfriend, Hannah, says she feels sorry for Rittenhouse.
— Tony Atkins (@TonyAtkinsTV) November 17, 2021
‘I do have a lot of sympathy for this kid because he is just a kid to me so it was just like a really dumbass kid who unfortunately became the figurehead for this,’
The Black Lives Matter movement also expressed their dismay at the verdict, with one simple tweet.
Former San Francisco 49ers star and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick branded Rittenhouse a ‘terrorist’ on Twitter.
“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,”
Twitter have been quick to point out that Kaepernick could be sued for defamation for his comments.
Mark Ruffalo and Khloe Kardashian also divided opinions with their take on the verdict.
They wrote on Twitter:
After all we have seen and heard about these weapons of war, these killing machines, there is no doubt that people who faced this young man were more afraid of him than he was of them. He was the one with a weapon of war, loaded and ready to be used on people.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) November 19, 2021
Speechless and disgusted!!
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) November 20, 2021
In a reply to the Kardashian tweet that has been liked nearly 2,000 times, one person wrote:
What are u referring to? The innocent lives that were lost at Travis’s concert, or….????
Actress Reece Witherspoon reacted with a message to US representatives.
No one should be able to purchase a semi-automatic weapon, cross state lines and kill 2 people, wound another and go free. In what world is this safe … for any of us ?
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) November 20, 2021
And to the families and friends who are grieving.. I'm holding you in my heart. And I will never stop advocating for justice.
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) November 20, 2021
One person to congratulate the teenager, however, was former President Donald Trump. In an email to his subscribers, Trump said:
‘Congratulations to Kyle Rittenhouse for being found INNOCENT of all charges,’ it read.
‘It’s called being found NOT GUILTY – and by the way, if that’s not self defence, nothing is! This trial was nothing more than a WITCH HUNT from the Radical Left. They want to PUNISH law-abiding citizens, including a CHILD, like Kyle Rittenhouse, for doing nothing more than following the LAW.’
Rittenhouse has been forced to flee Kenosha after receiving serious death threats, his attorney has confirmed.
“I knew this case was big. I had no idea it was going to be this big. It takes a while to process what happened today. I haven’t processed it,” before mentioning, “to me, it’s scary how many death threats we’ve had. I was answering my phone on the way back from court in Kenosha. My office isn’t that far. After the third death threat, I quit answering the phone,”
He has to get on with his life the best he can. I think eventually some anonymity will come back to it. I don’t think he’ll continue to live in this area. I think it’s too dangerous.
Rittenhouse is currently living in a confidential location.