The judgment of the court in Kenosha, the United States (U.S.), which freed a US police officer who shot two persons dead during mass action against police brutality leaves the U.S. President Joe Biden angry, including many Americans.
President Joe Biden admitted that he was angry at the news of a young police officer who shot two men dead during racist protest in Wisconsin, being set free by a court.
The president though noted that the jury has spoken, and they have to abide by the judgment.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 18 a former police cadet in the U.S., admitted fatally shooting the two deceased persons – Joseph Rosenbaum, 36; and Anthony Huber, 26; as well as causing injury for Gaige Grosskreutz, 28. The former police officer, however, insisted that he shot them during the mass action in Kenosha on August 25, 2020, in self-defence.
Rittenhouse was overwhelmed with disbelief and joy as he was on Friday acquitted of all charges on the shooting in Kenosha on August 25, 2020.
Americans were divided over the judgment of the court, as some citizens expressed latent protest.
Rittenhouse was acquitted on two charges of intentional homicide, one count of attempted homicide and two charges of recklessly endangering safety.
To the consternation of many Americans, a jury of seven women and five men, pronounced the former teen police officer not guilty on Friday, after deliberations for three and a half days.
The judgment was communicated to Rittenhouse by his mother, Wendy, who wept widely with joy.
It was observed that Rittenhouse and the persons he shot are all white. The case was related to racial conflict since the police officer shot the victims during civil disorder over police brutality.
President Biden in a tweet during the 2020 presidential electioneering campaign, tweeted a video which seemed to link Rittenhouse, without any evidence, with white supremacists.
Biden, acknowledging the news of the court verdict earlier on Friday maintained: “I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it.”
However, the U.S. President in a later statement expressed: “while the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken.”
Rittenhouse, at the time of the shooting, was 17. He arrived in Kenosha after two nights of rioting, looting and arson in protest against the police who shot a black man, Jacob Blake, seven times in the back on 23 August 2020, leading him to be partially paralysed.
The defence counsel, Mark Richards, argued that Rittenhouse, as a civic-minded teenager had gone to the Midwestern US city to protect private property, and only shot the men because he was in fear of his life.
The prosecution had presented Rittenhouse as a reckless vigilante and the victims he shot as heroes attempting to disarm someone they thought was an “active shooter”.
The court was told that Rosenbaum had been behaving erratically that night and chased Rittenhouse before trying to grab his gun; Rittenhouse fatally shot him.
The defence also told the court that Huber was killed after striking Rittenhouse in the head or neck with a skateboard.
Grosskreutz was said to have had his bicep shot off after pointing his own gun at Rittenhouse.
After the judgment, Rittenhouse’s defence attorney, Mark Richards, remarked: “He wants to get on with his life.
“He wishes none of this ever happened. But as he said when he testified, he did not start this.”
The parents of Huber, the second person shot, said they were “heartbroken” by the verdict.
“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,” Karen Bloom and John Huber said in a statement.
The verdict created a sharp gulf between the Democrats, many of whom rejected the verdict; and the Republicans, who argued that justice had been served, while some Republicans even offered Rittenhouse internships.