The parents of Anthony Huber are heartbroken over the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot their son during the Kenosha unrest in August 2020, at the height of the police brutality protests in the U.S.
In a statement released immediately after the jury's "not guilty" verdict for Rittenhouse, Karen Bloom and John Huber said that it's hard to accept the lack of accountability over the deaths and violence. They said that this verdict sends out the wrong message that "armed civilians can show up in any town" to instigate violence.
Huber, 26, was trying to stop Rittenhouse, who was running away from a crowd of people after he shot another Kenosha resident, Joseph Rosenbaum, four times with an AR-15 style rifle. Huber was attempting to take the rifle off Rittenhouse's hands but the teenager was able to fire one shot to Huber's chest, killing him instantly.
The victim's parents believe that Rittenhouse, who lives in Illinois, went to Kenosha to answer calls from racist and violent members of the militia, which were encouraged by the local police "to act violently."
"Neither Mr. Rittenhouse nor the Kenosha police who authorized his bloody campaign will escape justice," Huber's parents said in their statement. The parents said that their son will have his day with justice.
Kyle Rittenhouse Sobbed Over Acquittal
Rittenhouse was not able to hold back his tears after his "not guilty" verdict was read in court. The teenager was charged with first-degree reckless homicide, intentional homicide, and recklessly endangering safety. He was also charged with attempted intentional homicide, as well as possession of a dangerous weapon as a minor.
The shooter's mother gasped and cried upon hearing the jury's decision. According to CNN, there is no appeal for the verdict.
The jury sided with the defense that argued Rittenhouse was acting out of self-defense and fear for his life as people came after him. The teenager also said in his testimony that he went to Kenosha to protect establishments from potential rioters and looters, following the killing of a local Black man, Jacob Blake, by Rusten Sheskey, a White cop.
Lawyers for Rittenhouse said that the teenager, who is now 18 years old, never wished for what happened but wants to "get on with his life" and study to become a nurse. Currently, Rittenhouse has 24-hour security but he plans to move and live in anonymity as he starts sorting out what he needs to do next.
Reaction to Kyle Rittenhouse Acquittal
Rittenhouse's acquittal has sent shockwaves across the U.S. with many popular personalities expressing their disgust. Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo said he mourns the lives lost due to the "same racist system" that did not value the lives of Huber and Rittenhouse's other victims.
Author Stephen King said that the message he got from the verdict is that "the white guy goes free" while comedian George Wallace said that this could set a precedent for people to bring out their assault rifles during protests and "put themselves in a position to be scared." NFL star Colin Kaepernick said called the verdict a validation of the "terroristic acts of a white supremacist."
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