Biden acknowledges angst over Rittenhouse acquittal but urges peaceful response

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — President Joe Biden acknowledged his own anger at Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal of all charges related to his killing two people and injuring another last year in Kenosha but urged calm in the wake of the verdict Friday.

Explainer: What Charges Did Kyle Rittenhouse Face?

Polarized reactions greeted the verdict in the politically volatile case:

• Those who saw the 18-year-old Rittenhouse as a vigilante and a wannabe cop expressed anger and disappointment.

• Those who regard him as a patriot who took a stand against lawlessness and exercised his Second Amendment right to carry a gun and to defend himself interpreted the verdict with a sense of relief and vindication.

For his part, Biden said, “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,” Biden said.

Acknowledging that the country’s wounds can’t be healed overnight, Biden said, “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.”

Biden urged people 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 Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ office “to prepare for any outcome in this case,” Biden said, adding, “I have spoken with the governor this afternoon and offered support and any assistance needed to ensure public safety.”

This story includes information from The Associated Press.

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