Crime & Law
The Role of Race in the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial
The Role of Race in the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial
Jul 20, 2024 12:51 PM

Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges against him Friday. The charges included one count of first-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, one count of first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon.

“I am not shocked by the results, at least as it relates to the murder charges,” said defense attorney Tony Thedford. “I did think that this jury having taken that long to deliberate were attempting to come up with some compromise as to the less important charge or the less severe charges and I thought they would come back with something on the reckless counts. I really did. I am shocked that it took them four days to acquit on all five counts.”

The now 18-year-old was on trial for shooting three men, and killing two of them during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse was 17 at the time.

“This is a landmark case in our country, which basically means that if you’re African American you can be shot by police, those police would not be held accountable and if there are protests of the injustice that police have presented then white supremacist, proud boys can come and use the protesters that are either Black or sympathetic to that cause as target practice,” said Exavier Pope lawyer, legal and culture contributor for ESPN Las Vegas and Host of SuitUP

Some legal analysts and protesters pushing for a conviction have also accused the judge of favoring the defense.

“(The) judge has been biased the entire time, from not allowing Kyle Rittenhouse to go back to jail after not disclosing his address, to interrupting him on the witness stand, to his behavior throughout the entire trial,” said Pope, “This judge has shown his bias and shown this has been about him this entire time.”

Another concern raised during the trial was the makeup of the jury. It consisted of seven women and five men, all of them were white except one person of color. Kenosha County assistant district attorney Thomas Binger, the lead prosecutor in the case, released a statement after Friday’s verdict saying in part “while we are disappointed with the verdict, it must be respected.”

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