TAMPA (NBC) – President Joe Biden told reporters Friday that “the jury system works” after he was asked about Kyle Rittenhouse being found not guilty on all charges stemming from a pair of fatal shootings in Wisconsin last year.
Biden was asked whether he stood by his “past comments equating him to white supremacy,” referring to a post by Biden on Twitter in 2020 criticizing his opponent for not condemning white supremacy that included a video that had an image of Rittenhouse.
“I stand by what the jury has concluded,” Biden said.
Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges Friday after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice in the U.S.
He was charged with homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in the summer of 2020 during a tumultuous night of protests over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.
Rittenhouse, a former police youth cadet, said he went to Kenosha to protect property from rioters. He is white, as were those he shot.
The anonymous jury, which appeared to be overwhelmingly white, deliberated for close to 3 1/2 days.
Rittenhouse could have gotten life in prison if found guilty on the most serious charge, first-degree intentional homicide, or what some other states call first-degree murder. Two other charges each carried over 60 years behind bars.
A sheriff’s deputy immediately whisked him out a back door through the judge’s chambers.
As he dismissed the jurors who sat in judgment in the politically combustible case, Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder assured them the court would take “every measure” to keep them safe.
A sheriff’s deputy immediately whisked Rittenhouse out a back door through the judge’s chambers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.