Joe Biden stands by the jury’s decision to acquit Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges, the president told reporters in response to a question from the Daily Caller.
A jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Friday acquitted Rittenhouse of all five charges related to his August 2020 shooting of three men during a violent protest. The Caller’s senior White House correspondent Shelby Talcott asked Biden for his reaction at the White House. “I just heard a moment ago. I didn’t watch the trial, so I — you know … I stand by what the jury has concluded,” Biden said. “The jury system works and we have to abide by it.”
Biden later released a statement saying he was “angry and concerned” by the verdict, however.
“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” he said in an official statement. “I urge everyone to express their views peacefully, consistent with the rule of law. Violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy.”
“The White House and Federal authorities have been in contact with Governor Evers’s office to prepare for any outcome in this case, and I have spoken with the Governor this afternoon and offered support and any assistance needed to ensure public safety,” he added.
Biden previously suggested Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist” in 2020 immediately following the shooting. White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged questions on the issue earlier this week.
Rittenhouse killed two men and injured a third in 2020 in what has now been determined to be self defense. The incident took place during unrest in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The small Wisconsin town erupted into violence, and Rittenhouse, then 17 years old, brought an AR-15 to the scene in an attempt to defend a local store.
An altercation later ensued between Rittenhouse and Joseph Rosenbaum, with Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse and lunging for his weapon after shouting “fuck you,” according to witness testimony. Rittenhouse then shot Rosenbaum four times, killing him.
Two other men, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, began chasing Rittenhouse away from the scene moments later. Huber struck Rittenhouse in the head with a skateboard, and Rittenhouse responded with shots, killing Huber. Grosskreutz approached and, according to his own testimony, pointed a gun at Rittenhouse, and Rittenhouse fired once, hitting Grosskreutz in the arm.