*Several celebrities, politicians, and activists have taken to social media to react to the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial.
Rittenhouse has been found not guilty in the killing of two men and the wounding of a third last year during a tumultuous night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse appeared emotional as the verdicts were read. After being cleared on all counts, Rittenhouse broke down in tears and hugged one of his attorneys (watch it below).
Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump released the following statement following the not guilty verdict:
“If you needed yet another example of the two justice systems at work in America, look no further than the delayed arrest, spectacle of a trial, and acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse, a self-declared white nationalist, crossed state lines with an unlawfully possessed AR-15 to be an instigator and provocateur in the anti-racism protests in Kenosha. By the end of the night, he had killed two people and left others injured in his wake. And instead of being arrested on the spot by law enforcement, he walked away scot-free.
“From the outset, this case has pulled back the curtain on the profound cracks in our justice system – from the deep bias routinely and unabashedly displayed by the judge, to the apathy of officers who witnessed Rittenhouse’s crimes and did nothing. If we were talking about a Black man, the conversation and outcome would be starkly different.
“But we’re not…we’re talking about Kyle Rittenhouse, a racist, homicidal vigilante who, like so many white men before him, not only escaped accountability, but laughed in its face. Today, I pray for the victims, I pray for our country, I pray for our children and grandchildren, and I pray that this travesty of a case is an outlier on our path to a more just system, and not a signal of retreat backwards. Because, we simply can’t afford it.”
Kyle Rittenhouse is free.
The criminal mob corporate enterprise that is masquerading as a movement concerned about black lives— FAILS.
Justice wins the day.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) November 19, 2021
Jake Spence, State Director of the Wisconsin Working Families Party, who has been helping Kenosha activists build local political power said in a statement:
“If the goal of our criminal justice system is to promote well-being, public safety and justice for all, then today’s verdict is an abject failure. And it’s also a permission slip for future vigilantes.
“This failure that lays at the feet of every judge, District Attorney, sheriff, and politician who has let armed white militants like Rittenhouse walk free time after time, while giving law enforcement carte blanche to brutalize people like Jacob Blake, kill people like Joel Acevedo, and harass Black and brown people.
“Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty, but this ruling proves that the whole damn system is guilty as hell. The only way to change it is to vote out the politicians who built and run this broken system, and elect leaders who will work with us to win real justice and safety for all. You can expect more of that in Kenosha in the months to come.”
Tanya McClean, Executive Director of Leaders of Kenosha and WI WFP activist who has been leading the #JusticeForJacob organizing in Kenosha, said:
“We know that even a guilty verdict cannot deliver justice, bring back Anthony Huber and JoJo Rosenbaum, or ensure true safety for our communities. We are coming together to show our leaders in Kenosha, the White House, and everywhere that we won’t stop until they meet this moment, fund our lives, and secure justice and safety for all, no exceptions.”
Check out additional reactions on Twitter below:
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.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 19, 2021
Elections matter. The lives of Joseph Rosenbaum & Anthony Huber mattered. They should be alive today. Our 1st amendment right to free speech should not cost any of us our lives. And regardless of anybody’s verdict anywhere and at anytime, Black Lives Do Matter. Today. & always ❤️ https://t.co/YNMVk8Wha5
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) November 19, 2021
So anyone can come to a protest, just march down the middle of the street with a massive gun – and kill people? #RittenhouseVerdict
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) November 19, 2021
Another disappointing victory for White vigilantism
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) November 19, 2021
— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) November 19, 2021
#kylerittenhouse found not guilty tho we SAW HIM kill two. Fundamentally stupid, I predict he will go on to a big career on #Fox and in #RadicalRightWing circles, which counts as a plus with them. A tragic, tragic day for decent, THINKING, feeling, ethical people everywhere.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) November 19, 2021