Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement on the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial:
“Here are the facts that are important to me. Kyle Rittenhouse, who was a minor at the time, traveled from Illinois to Wisconsin, and picked up an assault rifle that was illegally purchased for him. He took the law into his own hands, killing two people and injuring another. They were victims of gun violence and too many families have lost loved ones to these tragedies. I understand why people believe that justice was not served in this case, because I feel the same way. This ruling makes clear we have so much work to do to take on gun violence, and reform our broken criminal justice system so that it starts working equally and fairly for everyone.
“In Wisconsin, this judge has now ruled that it’s legal for a minor to walk the streets in Wisconsin with an assault weapon. If that is true, then our state legislature should take action now in a bipartisan way to change the law and make it illegal. I am afraid many more people will become victims of gun violence unless we take action at the federal and state level to pass common sense gun safety reforms that take on this epidemic and start saving lives. To me that’s just common sense that most people in our state would agree with.
“The fact that some people are cheering a ruling that has allowed someone to take the law into his own hands and walk free from any accountability after shooting and killing two people is disrespectful to the lives that were lost, and I am deeply concerned that it will encourage more tragic gun violence from those like Kyle Rittenhouse who think they have a license to take the law into their own hands in a violent way.
“To those who protest this ruling, I strongly urge them to do so safely and peacefully because no one wants to see what happened last year happen again. I have met with community leaders, business owners and racial justice activists in Kenosha a number of times since the police shooting of Jacob Blake and I know that the entire Kenosha community has gone through a lot of heartbreak and that the work for healing, peace, and justice continues. I continue to stand with Kenosha as we work together, to move forward together.”