Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), issued the following statement after the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was delivered.
“The verdict in this trial gives a greenlight to people throughout the country who want to bring weapons to protests and murder people. It emboldens vigilantism. Where this jury had an opportunity to address this danger and hold a person who killed two people accountable for his actions, it failed.
“But this isn’t solely the fault of the jury. Time and time again, trials like these are structured in a way to generate verdicts that do not reflect justice and I believe that this trial is no different. In a murder trial in which lawyers aren’t allowed to refer to the individuals as ‘victims’, it’s hard for me to believe that there is a serious pursuit of the truth being made. This trial also demonstrated dire consequences of the lack of national gun safety laws and the absolute need for the Senate to advance legislation that we passed in the House more than seven months ago.
“There are two other high-profile trials happening right now — one of the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery and one of the individuals who organized the White supremacist rally at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. I’m highly concerned that justice will not be served in either trial. In the trial of the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery, even the judge himself identified the appearance of ‘intentional discrimination’ after the defense struck 11 of 12 Black jurors from the pool of eligible jurors. The jury hearing the case is 91% white. The city of Brunswick is 55% Black. These two trials may also embolden violent vigilantes throughout the country.
“Thousands will protest this injustice throughout the country tonight and in the nights to come to express the pain and hurt caused by this verdict. I urge those participating to be peaceful, with purpose and hope. There is power in our collective voice. Justice will be won.”