Joseph Rosenbaum's fiancée: "I feel like in this case, the victims' lives don't matter"
From CNN’s Raja Razek
The fiancée of Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the men fatally shot by Kyle Rittenhouse, said, "I feel like in this case, the victims' lives don't matter."
"If one person's life or two persons’ lives don't matter, then none of our lives matter," Kariann Swart said while speaking to reporters following the verdict in the Rittenhouse trial. "And I feel like in this case, it feels like, the victims' lives don't matter. And I don't think that that is acceptable."
7:13 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021
Girlfriend of man shot by Rittenhouse calls the system "a failure"
From CNN’s Raja Razek
Anthony Huber's girlfriend, Hannah Gittings, called the system "a failure" in remarks she made to the press following Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal on all charges.
"I don't think that any of us who were directly involved in what happened last year on the 25th are really that surprised. We know that this system is a failure," she said. "Personally, I am especially not surprised at the outcome of this verdict."
Some context: Huber, who was in the crowd of protesters with his girlfriend, was killed as Rittenhouse fled the scene of Joseph Rosenbaum's shooting, according to the complaint.
Huber had turned 26 just four days earlier, according to an obituary.
4:21 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021
Rittenhouse family spokesperson says verdict "was expected"
From CNN’s Raja Razek
Kyle Rittenhouse's family spokesperson told CNN affiliate WBBM that the verdict in the trial was "expected," adding that Rittenhouse and his family are in an undisclosed location.
"I say that was expected because we know who Kyle is, and we know what was in his heart and what was in his head, and we know the facts of this case. But, of course everybody was really anxious because at the end of the day, you just, you ultimately don't know what a jury is thinking," spokesperson David Hancock said.
Hancock also said he believed that "the jury was thoughtful and they understood the gravity of this decision."
"Now, the goal is going to be to ensure Kyle's safety as he moves on as a 18-year-old young man in college studying to be a nurse," Hancock said. "Those are his plans moving forward."
As for the Rittenhouse family, Hancock said, "They are doing well right now. they're in an undisclosed location and they are, they are a family and everybody is just ecstatic."
Asked about the call for protests following today's verdict, Hancock said, "The family calls for calm. Calls for calm. I mean, this was not an injustice."
"What I would say is, this is an inflection point, I think, for the country to look at the way things have been handled. Things have gone off the rails in relation to who Kyle is and why he was down here. It's never been about politics. It's not about race. This is about a young man who fled and felt as if his life was in danger and defended himself," he added.
3:51 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021
How lawyers for 2 of the men Rittenhouse shot are responding to the acquittal
From CNN's Sara Sidner
Kimberley Motley and Milo Schwab, attorneys for Gaige Grosskreutz and the estate of Joseph Rosenbaum, asked for "peace from everyone hurting" following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse.
Rosenbaum was killed and Grosskreutz was injured in the August 2020 shooting.
"Today we grieve for the families of those slain by Kyle Rittenhouse," Motley and Schwab said in a statement.
Here's the full statement:
"Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum did not deserve to die that night. For now, we ask for peace from everyone hurting and that the public respect the privacy of the victims and their families. That night in Kenosha, Gaige Grosskreutz, Anthony Huber, and many others acted heroically. They did not seek violence, but to end violence. What we need right now is justice, not more violence. While today's verdict may mean justice delayed, it will not mean justice denied. We are committed to uncovering the truth of that night and holding those responsible to account."
"I've never seen so much made of so little," he said of criticism of Schroeder's sometimes abrasive manner.
"Judge Schroeder gives you a fair trial as a defendant," he said. "You don't want him to sentence your client. But in this case, we were looking for a fair trial and if we lost we knew what was going to happen... so I would rather have a fair trial."
Richards said that he had confidence in his self-defense case and believed that Schroeder had created an environment where his client could receive justice.
"I thought he gave us a fair trial," he added. "...So I think it's a good system. You know, I've got a trial in front of him, you know, a big case, and maybe in that one, I'll think he's unfair, but he's a fair judge."
Prosecutor in Rittenhouse trial: "While we are disappointed with the verdict, it must be respected"
From CNN's Omar Jimenez
Following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, the lead prosecutor in this case, said in a statement that "while we are disappointed with the verdict, it must be respected."
“We are grateful to the members of the jury for their diligent and thoughtful deliberations. The Kenosha community has endured much over the past 15 months, and yet we remain resilient and strong. We ask that members of our community continue to express their opinions and feelings about this verdict in a civil and peaceful manner,” Binger continued.
3:46 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021
Biden reacts to Rittenhouse verdict: "The jury system works, and we have to abide by it"
From CNN's Nikki Carvajal
President Biden said he did not watch the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, but he stands by the verdict and the judicial system.
He made the comments upon returning to the White House after his routine physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“I just heard a moment ago,” Biden said, when asked about Rittenhouse being found not guilty on all counts. “I didn’t watch the trial.”
Asked if he stood by his past comments equating Rittenhouse to a white supremacist, Biden didn’t directly answer.
“Look, I stand by what the jury has concluded,” he said. “The jury system works, and we have to abide by it.”
In a statement released by the White House later Friday afternoon, Biden acknowledged that the verdict “will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included,” adding that everyone “must acknowledge that the jury has spoken.”
Biden said he “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,” the statement reads.
2:46 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021
Wisconsin governor calls for peace and says state has "work to do" following Rittenhouse verdict
From CNN’s Carma Hassan
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial has “reopened wounds that have not yet fully healed” and called for peace in Kenosha following the teen’s acquittal.
“No verdict will be able to bring back the lives of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, or heal Gaige Grosskreutz’s injuries, just as no verdict can heal the wounds or trauma experienced by Jacob Blake and his family. No ruling today changes our reality in Wisconsin that we have work to do toward equity, accountability, and justice that communities across our state are demanding and deserve,” Evers said in a statement.
Evers urged Wisconsinites to move forward and said “any efforts or actions aimed at sowing division are unwelcome in our state as they will only hinder that healing.”
3:02 p.m. ET, November 19, 2021
Rittenhouse has a "huge sense of relief" following acquittal, says defense attorney
From CNN's Josiah Ryan
Mark Richards, Kyle Rittenhouse's defense attorney, said his client is eager to get on with his life and is feeling a great sense of relief following his acquittal on all five counts against him today.
"He wants to get on with his life," said Richards, speaking at a news conference outside the courthouse. "He has a huge sense of relief for what the jury did to him today. He wishes none of this would have ever happened."
Richards said Rittenhouse has had 24-hour security and does not anticipate that he will continue to live in the area.
"I think eventually some anonymity will come back to it," he said, adding Rittenhouse has ambitions to become a nurse.
Richards reiterated the defense's argument that Rittenhouse was not responsible for the violence that occurred that night in Kenosha.
"As he said when he testified, he did not start this and we're thankful, in more ways than one, that the jury finally got to hear the true story," he said.