Public Responds to Rittenhouse Not Guilty Verdict

Supporters of Kyle Rittenhouse turned out in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Lightburst, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Supporters of Kyle Rittenhouse turned out in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Several weeks ago, the trial began in Kenosha, Wisconsin for Kyle Rittenhouse. He faced murder and other charges after he shot and killed two protestors and injured one using an assault rifle during riots in the city in 2020. Ultimately, the jury had to decide if these shootings came down to murder or self-defense. If he was to be found guilty of homicide, he would undoubtedly spend the rest of his life in jail. On November 19, the jury returned a verdict finding that Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts, meaning that he would be able to leave the court a free man. This verdict came after four days of deliberations.

This case received much attention and raised many heated opinions in the United States. The publicity rivaled that from the OJ Simpson trial in the 1990s. The whole trial was livestreamed straight to the internet, allowing hundreds of thousands of people to be watching the trial at one time. Students followed the case with interest. Junior Evan Morgan said “I think they made the right call, since the jurors know more than me.” Brad Davidson, 11, also agreed saying, “They made the right choice.” Many in the public disagreed. Small scale protests began shortly after the verdict was released. These protestors think that the jury did not make the right choice. When asked about his thought on the verdict, the president of the United States Joe Biden said, “The jury system works, and we must abide by it.” Many have taken to social media sharing their opinions on the people shot by Rittenhouse. Many were quick to point out that all three victims were white, so race was not a factor in the shooting. Two of the men shot and killed by Kyle had also committed heinous crimes, like pedophilia and domestic abuse.