On Friday (19 November), Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all five charges in his homicide trial. The 18-year-old shot dead two men and seriously wounded a third during a night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.
The jury returned its verdict after four days of deliberation.
In a Twitter post on Sunday (21 November), Witherspoon wrote: “No one should be able to purchase a semi-automatic weapon, cross state lines and kill two people, wound another, and go free.”
“In what world is this safe... for any of us?” she added.
The Legally Blonde actor also called the verdict a “disgrace” and wrote that she woke up “thinking about every mother/father/sister/brother/friend who has lost someone to senseless gun violence in America”.
“There was no justice for their pain. This is a disgrace.”
Witherspoon also wrote that she would not vote for any US representatives or judges who supported the verdict, and promoted gun control organisations Everytown and Moms Demand Action. She ended her thoughts by sending a message to “the families and friends who are grieving”.
“I’m holding you in my heart. And I will never stop advocating for justice,” Witherspoon wrote.
Rittenhouse was charged with five felony counts of first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety in the first degree.
The teenager, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, travelled with an AR-15-style rifle from his home in Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin amid protests over the police shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and also shot Gaige Grosskreutz, who survived. He claimed he acted in self-defence after he was attacked by a mob. The prosecution argued that Rittenhouse provoked the violence and then used deadly force.
Read The Independent’s live blog on the Rittenhouse verdict here.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in