Joe Biden reacted to jury’s verdict to acquit Kyle Rittenhouse by telling reporters that it showed that “the system works,” and the White House later issued a more complete statement from the president calling for calm.
“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” Biden said in a statement. “I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. I know that we’re not going to heal our country’s wounds overnight, but 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.
“I urge everyone 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 Governor Evers’ office to prepare for any outcome in this case, and I have spoken with the Governor this afternoon and offered support and any assistance needed to ensure public safety.”
Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, reacted to Biden’s initial comment, telling reporters that he was glad he “at least respects the jury verdict.” But Richards denied that Rittenhouse was a white supremacist. An image of Rittenhouse was included in a Biden campaign video last year, with the spot attacking then-President Donald Trump for not disavowing white supremacists at the first presidential debate.