US celebrities vent anger after Rittenhouse verdict

Divisive trial ends with not guilty verdict for teen

Andy Roesgen   | 20.11.2021
US celebrities vent anger after Rittenhouse verdict Kenosha County Courthouse on closing arguments in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States on November 16, 2021. ( Tayfun Coşkun - Anadolu Agency )

WISCONSIN, United States 

American celebrities are weighing in on the polarizing verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial on Friday and it is not pleasant.  

"In this country, you can even kill white people and get away with it even if those white people are fighting for Black lives," tweeted actress Gabrielle Union. "This is the legacy of 1619", she added, a reference to the date the first Black slaves were sold in America.

NASCAR race car driver Bubba Wallace, America's most prominent Black race car driver, tweeted, "Let (Rittenhouse) be black and it would've been life (in prison)...hell he would've had his life taken before the (expletive) trial.. sad".

Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all the counts against him, including homicide and attempted homicide, in the shootings of three men during Black Lives Matter demonstrations last summer in Kenosha, in the state of Wisconsin.

He claimed self-defense in the shootings, while prosecutors said he was part of a vigilante mob who tried to intimidate demonstrators. Two men were killed, a third badly wounded.

Several celebrities, in criticizing the verdict, said they weren't surprised.

"Welcome to America," tweeted Academy Award winning actress Viola Davis.

"Not surprised," tweeted Michelle Williams of the pop group Destiny's Child.

"We already knew," tweeted singer Anita Baker.

Broadway star Patti LuPone tweeted, "The Rittenhouse verdict gives them permission to kill. I've lost the definition of right and wrong".

Actress Ana DuVernay shared the statement put out by the parents of Anthony Huber, one of the men Rittenhouse killed.

John Huber and Karen Bloom said 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."

The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, put out a statement saying the verdict had to be respected, but decrying that Rittenhouse played "judge, jury and executioner" in the shootings.

Actor DL Hughley tweeted that Rittenhouse "will be a cop in three years".

After the verdict, Rittenhouse's attorney, Mark Richards said the teenager wants to be a nurse.

But one Republican Congressman, Matt Gaetz, said this week he would consider bringing Rittenhouse aboard as an intern in his office.

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