Kyle Rittenhouse’s Acquittal in Homicide Trial: Activists, Actors, and More Speak Out

Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges after nearly four days of jury deliberations. He shot and killed two people at a protest last year.

Kyle Rittenhouse is seen in court.

Image via Getty/Sean Krajacic-Pool

Kyle Rittenhouse is seen in court.

On Friday, following nearly four days of jury deliberations, Kyle Rittenhouse was announced to have been acquitted in his homicide trial.

Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts in connection with shooting and killing two men (Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber) and injuring a third (Gaige Grosskreutz) when he showed up with an AR-15 style rifle amid protests in Kenosha last year.

The Blue Lives Matter supporter, who conceded during the trial that he thought the aforementioned gun “looked cool,” had faced multiple charges including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide. Rittenhouse fatally shot Rosenbaum and Huber amid protests in Kenosha spurred by police shooting Jacob Blake in the back.

During the trial, questions were raised by the public regarding Judge Bruce Schroeder, including his phone going off at one point to reveal Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” as his ringtone. The song, notably, has been used at rallies for former POTUS Donald Trump.

Upon the announcement of Rittenhouse’s acquittal on Friday, many prominent voices took to social media to criticize the verdict and its potential impact on similar cases in the future. In an extended statement shared via the Loevy & Loevy law firm, Karen Bloom and John Huber—parents to Anthony Huber, who was killed by Rittenhouse—stated that Friday’s verdict meant there had been “no justice” for their son.

“Today’s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son,” the parents said. “It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street. We hope that decent people will join us in forcefully rejecting that message and demanding more of our laws, our officials, and our justice system.” 

Below, see additional reactions to Rittenhouse’s acquittal. And for more on what transpired during the trial, click here.

Our statement on the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial: “Young People Are Enraged”

— March For Our Lives ☮️🟧 (@AMarch4OurLives) November 19, 2021

Travyon Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old kid. He was killed carrying a bag of skittles. The right-wing called him a threat.

Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 years old and armed. He shot and killed 2 people with an AR-15. The right-wing calls him a hero.

— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) November 19, 2021

In fairness, Kyle Rittenhouse only killed two people. It’s not like he was smoking weed.

— Michael Ian Blaques. (@michaelianblack) November 19, 2021

Despite Kyle Rittenhouse’s conscious decision to travel across state lines and injure one person and take the lives of two people protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake by police, he was not held responsible for his actions.

Unfortunately, this is not surprising.

— ACLU (@ACLU) November 19, 2021

His acquittal comes after our investigation exposed how Kenosha law enforcement used violence against protesters and drove them toward white militia groups, in ways that escalated tensions and almost certainly led to these shootings.

— ACLU (@ACLU) November 19, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty on all charges.

This is not an example of our “broken” criminal legal system. It’s another an example of the system working exactly as designed.

— Eliza Orlins (@elizaorlins) November 19, 2021

“A jury found him innocent”
“They proved it was self defense”
“He did nothing illegal”
“He felt his life was in danger”

Yeah, that’s all the stuff to feel ashamed about

— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) November 19, 2021

John Huber and Karen Bloom, parents of murderer #KyleRittenhouse’s victim Anthony Huber: the verdict “sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.”

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 19, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty verdict the same day Bill Maher says CRT isn't needed because Racism isn't the essence of America is oddly very American.

— Shamir (@ShamirBailey) November 19, 2021

This is why many of us warned a Chauvin verdict was not the symbol of progress some wanted it to be.

White supremacy has a set number of acceptable losses. Kyle Rittenhouse, and his Vigilante How-To example, simply was not one of them.

They needed his blueprint.

— brittany packnett cunningham (she/her). (@MsPackyetti) November 19, 2021

I'm already annoyed by the coverage. The judge spent two weeks clownishly stanning for the white gunman and everybody's all like "oh the prosecution had bad facts."
It's why cartoonish biased judges like Schroeder get away with it.

— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) November 19, 2021

I'm disappointed but not at all surprised

Kyle Rittenhouse went to an active protest with an AR because he wanted conflict. He found it, and he killed people. And because the American justice system wants people like him to be able to do things like this, he now walks free.

— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) November 19, 2021

JUST IN: Judge Schroeder sentences Kyle Rittenhouse to come give him a big hug

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) November 19, 2021

Kalief Browder died by suicide after facing traumas in jail as he was held without trial for 3 years for allegedly stealing a backpack. He spent 2 years in solitary confinement.

Kyle Rittenhouse murdered two men, raised millions of dollars in support, and then walked free.

— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) November 19, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse being acquitted was a verdict that has been set in stone for the last four centuries of American life.

— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) November 19, 2021

No words. Just utter fury.

— Sophia Bush Hughes (@SophiaBush) November 19, 2021

wanna be a supreme court justice

wanna murder 2 people & not go to jail better

1) cut some onions
2) be white

(MUSIC CUE: “Cherry Pie”)

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) November 19, 2021

Any Black person could’ve told you that. We’ve never been deceived by the evil bred in this country. It’s been happening for generations since its inception. This place was built on the promise of verdicts like #KyleRittenhouse’s.

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) November 19, 2021

It has now been put it out there that vigilantes can just go and kill people protesting issues like racial equality whenever they want and get away with it. Think about that for a second.

— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 19, 2021

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