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‘Unacceptable Message’: Reactions from Victim’s Family and Others Pour In After Rittenhouse’s Not Guilty Verdict, Some Bring Up Tragedy of Tamir Rice

A Wisconsin jury found Illinois native Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty in the killing of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum. The Nov. 19 controversial verdict left many in the nation numb, as video clearly showed him fatally shooting both men. But no one has been more affected than the families left in bereavement by this act.

Kyle Rittenhouse looks back as attorneys discuss items in the motion for mistrial presented by his defense during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 17, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Sean Krajacic – Pool/Getty Images)

The family of Anthony Huber shared their thoughts on the verdict via an official statement from law firm Loevy & Loevy. It read in part that this acquittal “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 18-year-old was found not guilty on all counts of murder of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, on Aug. 25, 2020.

The jurors also rendered a not guilty verdict on two felony charges of recklessly endangering safety.

Anthony’s parents, Karen Bloom and John Huber, started their statement by sharing their collective grief.

“We are heartbroken and angry that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted in his criminal trial for the murder of our son Anthony Huber. Make no mistake: our fight to hold those responsible for Anthony’s death accountable continues in full force. Neither Mr. Rittenhouse nor the Kenosha police who authorized his bloody rampage will escape justice,” it read.

The family noted that this verdict is not the end of their pursuit of justice, “Anthony will have his day in court.”

In August the family announced its lawsuit against the Kenosha Police Department and the County Sheriff’s office. They contend that law enforcement is partially to blame for the death of their loved one.

A statement released by the same law firm in August read, “Kenosha City and County Police took sides during the peaceful protest and deputized Kyle Rittenhouse and the other armed, pro-police militia members to patrol the streets and control demonstrators who were protesting police violence and racism.”

One of the most arresting quotes from the release was from Anand Swaminathan, who is serving as representation for the family, “Make no mistake: if Kyle Rittenhouse had been Black, or had been wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, there is no way on God’s green earth he would have been allowed to walk away. More likely he would have been shot dead in the street.”

This echoes a sentiment that is currently trending on Twitter, juxtaposing the 17-year-old rifle-toting Rittenhouse with the 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

StanceGrounded posted, “Tamir Rice was a 12 year-old black boy carrying a TOY GUN when he was percieved as a BLACK MAN carrying a GUN in an OPEN CARRY STATE of OHIO. He was SHOT and KILLED by police. Don’t ever forget that.”

“Tamir Rice had a toy gun, shot no one, yet he was murdered,” Malynda Hale tweeted. “Kyle Rittenhouse had an AR-15, murdered 2 people and is going to go to college. I wonder what Tamir wanted to be and where he would have gone to college.”

Kyle J. Howard simply reminded those scrolling to never forget the Ohioan.

“We will never forget you #TamirRice. They took you away from us in an instant, cuz a black boy with a toy gun requires capital punishment in a world where a 17 year old white person can bring an assault rifle across state line, shoot 3 people, kill two, walk by cops & go home.”

The sports community also spoke out loud and clear in response to Rittenhouse’ verdict.

NASCAR champion Bubba Wallace tweeted, “Ha, let the boy be black and it would’ve been life…hell he would’ve had his life taken before the bullshit trial.. sad”

Some called out Judge Bruce Schroeder who made questionable decisions throughout the trial.

WNBA player Brianna Taylor tweeted, “I bet the judge will be the first to take Kyle Rittenhouse for dinner to celebrate all that he’s accomplished this past year. insane how much our judicial system varies based on physical traits of the defendant. Disappointed but not surprised.”

There has been no official statement from Kenosha law enforcement.  According to their Twitter account, they have been occupied with stopping people from trying to take pictures of the jury and thwarting mix-messaging on various platforms.

“Last night a person who is alleging to be affiliated with a national media outlet was briefly taken into custody and issued several traffic-related citations. Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors. This incident is being investigated much further.”

“Another disappointing attempt at disinformation. There was no shooting at or near the Kenosha County Courthouse as reported on this Facebook page. Please follow @KenoshaPolice for factual information.”

The KPD is currently preparing with the National Guard for another bout of civil unrest and violent protest, prompted by the verdict.

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