NAACP President Derrick Johnson on Sunday called the not guilty verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial a “warning shot that self-justice is allowed,” adding that it is difficult for African Americans to reconcile the outcome with their experience with the country’s judicial system.
Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges against him Friday after fatally shooting two people and wounding another during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.
In speaking to Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Johnson compared the crimes for which blacks have been convicted to Rittenhouse’s actions, which we do not consider criminal.
“We have too many people incarcerated for crimes they did not commit or overcharged for crimes that were committed,” Johnson said.
“That is why it is difficult to reconcile the verdict with the experience that many African Americans have faced for several decades. This trial for us is a warning that self-justice is allowed in this country or in particular communities, “he added.
“This trial for us is a warning that self-justice is allowed in this country, or in particular communities.” pic.twitter.com/vxILiyvKZk
– Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) November 21, 2021
A 12-person jury unanimously acquitted Rittenhouse of all five charges against him on Friday, ending the highly publicized case.
Rittenhouse, then 17, shot and killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber during protests last year that broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, involved by the police. He also shot and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 years old at the time.
Rittenhouse, now 18, was charged with first degree manslaughter, attempted first degree manslaughter, first degree reckless manslaughter and two counts of reckless endangering.
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace said Friday that he believes Rittenhouse would have received a life sentence if he were black.
“Ha, let the boy be black and it would have been his life … heck, they would have taken his life before the fucking trial … sad,” Wallace said in a tweet after the verdict.
Ha, let the boy be black and it would have been the life … hell, they would have taken his life before the fucking trial … sad
– Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) November 19, 2021
President BidenJoe BidenRisch, dismayed by Republican senators’ blocking of Biden’s diplomatic elections, on Sunday shows a trailer: Boosters open to all American adults; House Democrats pass spending plan to Senate White House calls for investigation into sexual assault allegations of missing Chinese tennis star MORE On Friday he said he was angry after the verdict, but concluded that “the jury has spoken.” He also urged Americans to “express their views in a peaceful manner, in accordance with the rule of law.”
“Violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy,” he added.