Rittenhouse riots, officials send mixed messages on verdict

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A riot broke out in Portland, Oregon on Friday night after a jury cleared Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges relating to the shooting deaths of two people last year.

Rittenhouse, 18, had been charged with manslaughter, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment after killing two men and injuring a third with a semi-automatic rifle after chasing him.

The shooting took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when Rittenhouse took to the streets to oppose the violent and lawless riots that had destroyed businesses during protests against police violence against blacks in the summer of 2020.

In a series of tweets on Friday night, the Portland Police Department (PPB) said a mob “was breaking windows and damaging the doors of city facilities” as well as throwing objects at officers.

Moments later, PPB tweeted that a riot had been declared as unruly protesters became more destructive.

Portland Tribune reporter shared photos vandalism and demonstrators clashing with police.

“Here in Portland in particular, it is reasonable to expect that there will be some sort of backlash to the verdict and as we have said on several occasions, we support peaceful protests, with people exercising their rights to First Amendment, ”said PPB chief Chuck Lovell. “It’s when people engage in criminal activity, violence, destruction and vandalism that we have problems.”

Meanwhile, in Kenosha, police arrested someone on Friday night for writing “Judge Schroeder must go” outside the Kenosha County Courthouse.

Shortly after Rittenhouse’s verdict was announced, reactions from officials and politicians were shared on social media.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, President Biden said he stood by the jury’s decision.

“I stand by what the jury concluded. The jury system works”, Biden said.

In a subsequent statement, the the president urged the Americans to peacefully express their views on the Rittenhouse verdict.

“Although the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans angry and worried, including me, we have to recognize that the jury has spoken. I ran on the promise to bring Americans together because I believe what unites us is much greater than what divides us. “

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr, wrote on Twitter: “Justice isn’t just about verdicts. It’s a continuum. Kenosha. “

The NAACP tweeted: “The verdict in the #KyleRittenhouse case is a travesty and does not do justice on behalf of those who lost their lives as they peacefully gathered to protest police brutality and violence.”

And former President Donald Trump released a brief statement that said, “If it’s not self-defense, nothing is!”

Rittenhouse was 17 when he moved from his Antioch, Illinois home to Kenosha after businesses in the town were ransacked and set on fire after a white policeman shot and injured a black man named Jacob Blake .

Rittenhouse joined other armed citizens in what he said was an effort to protect property and provide medical assistance.

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