Wisconsin officials react to Rittenhouse verdict

Local News

(WFRV) – Local officials released statements following Kyle Rittenhouse getting cleared of all charges.

A jury read the verdict ‘not guilty’ for all of the charges against Rittenhouse. The verdict was read shortly after 12 p.m.

Gov. Tony Evers released a lengthy statement regarding the verdict in the Rittenhouse case. In his statement, Evers mentions that moving forward together and united is important to building a better future.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson mentioned that he believes that justice has been served in the Rittenhouse trial. He also hopes that everyone can accept the verdict.

Rep. Gordon Hintz also released a statement following the reading of the verdict. In his statement, he mentions that the ruling could be a green light for ‘these types of people’ to instigate violence.

My thoughts are with the loved ones of Anthony Huber and JoJo Rosenbaum, who were killed by Kyle Rittenhouse on August 25, 2020. Both men should still be alive today.

I urge all Wisconsinites to support continued healing for the people of Kenosha and to reimagine what true justice and safety look like in Wisconsin. Let us all work to transform this painful moment into a turning point in ensuring accountability in public safety, addressing systemic racism in our state, and prioritizing true justice and healing in Wisconsin.

This ruling is a green light for these types of people to instigate violence, only to use violence to escape accountability.

Rep. Hintz

Sarah Godlewski, who is the State Treasurer of Wisconsin, said it is outrageous that there will be no justice and accountability for the incident.

And U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says she is mainly looking at the facts in the following statement:

Here are the facts that are important to me. Kyle Rittenhouse, who was a minor at the time, traveled from Illinois to Wisconsin, and picked up an assault rifle that was illegally purchased for him. He took the law into his own hands, killing two people and injuring another. They were victims of gun violence and too many families have lost loved ones to these tragedies. I understand why people believe that justice was not served in this case, because I feel the same way. This ruling makes clear we have so much work to do to take on gun violence, and reform our broken criminal justice system so that it starts working equally and fairly for everyone.

In Wisconsin, this judge has now ruled that it’s legal for a minor to walk the streets in Wisconsin with an assault weapon. If that is true, then our state legislature should take action now in a bipartisan way to change the law and make it illegal. I am afraid many more people will become victims of gun violence unless we take action at the federal and state level to pass common sense gun safety reforms that take on this epidemic and start saving lives. To me that’s just common sense that most people in our state would agree with.

The fact that some people are cheering a ruling that has allowed someone to take the law into his own hands and walk free from any accountability after shooting and killing two people is disrespectful to the lives that were lost, and I am deeply concerned that it will encourage more tragic gun violence from those like Kyle Rittenhouse who think they have a license to take the law into their own hands in a violent way. 

To those who protest this ruling, I strongly urge them to do so safely and peacefully because no one wants to see what happened last year happen again. I have met with community leaders, business owners and racial justice activists in Kenosha a number of times since the police shooting of Jacob Blake and I know that the entire Kenosha community has gone through a lot of heartbreak and that the work for healing, peace, and justice continues. I continue to stand with Kenosha as we work together, to move forward together.

Wisconsin’s Attorney General Josh Kaul released the following statement in reaction to Friday’s verdict, urging people who wish to make their voices heard, do so peacefully,

Attorney_General_Josh_Kaul_

“The residents of Kenosha have endured significant hardship over the course of more than a year, and they have worked hard to heal their community. It is imperative that everyone who wishes to make their voice heard about today’s verdict does so peacefully and respects the right of Kenosha residents to be safe and to continue healing.

“Let me be clear: I condemn vigilantism. It is dangerous and illegal, and it has no place in our communities. The actions of those attempting to take the law into their own hands only put the safety of law enforcement officers and communities in danger.

“We have work to do to make our communities more equitable and safer. We must work together to seek greater unity and not division, with hope and not fear, and we must be unwavering in our pursuit of equal justice under the law.”

President Joe Biden listens during a meeting with business leaders about the debt limit in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden has also released a statement on the White House website, saying people should express their views of the verdict peacefully.

While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken. I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us.  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.

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.

Local 5 will continue to update this story as more statements are released.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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