Biden on the Rittenhouse verdict: ‘I stand by what the jury has concluded’

Comes after a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges

Eric Garcia
Friday 19 November 2021 20:40
President Biden says he ‘stands by’ not guilty verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse trial

President Joe Biden said he stood by the jury in Wisconsin finding Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty of all charges.

“I stand by what the jury has concluded,” he told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. “The jury system works and we have to abide by that.”

Mr Biden later released a lengthier statement, repeating that the jury’s verdict must be honoured even if many people are angry.

“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,” he said.

The president also called on demonstrators to not resort to violence.

“I urge everyone to express their views peacefully, consistent with the rule of law,” he said. “Violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy.”

Mr Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all five counts for his homicide trial, including two first-degree homicide charges for the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber during anti-police violence protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin after police shot Jacob Blake, a Black man.

After the jury found him not guilty, some Republicans including Sen Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rep Thomas Massie of Kentucky criticised Mr Biden for calling Mr Rittenhouse a white supremacist.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said before the verdict was announced that the White House was in contact with Kenosha County officials.

“That’s certainly what we will continue to encourage as anyone looks to have their voice heard, regardless of the outcome,” she added.

Mr Biden, who will soon turn 79, said his health was good after he was under anaesthesia for a colonoscopy, which required him to briefly hand his presidential power to Vice President Kamala Harris.

“They’re going to release all the details, I feel great, nothing’s changed,” he said. “And so I’m look forward to celebrating my 58th birthday.”

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