President BidenJoe BidenBiden says he didn't 'overpromise' Finland PM pledges 'extremely tough' sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine Russia: Nothing less than NATO expansion ban is acceptable MORE on Friday said he stands by the jury’s decision to acquit Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who fatally shot two protesters in Kenosha, Wis., and wounded a third.
“Well look, I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it,” the president said when asked about the decision by reporters at the White House.
He said he had just heard about the verdict and didn’t watch the trial. He declined to directly comment on whether he stands by a tweet he sent as a presidential candidate that suggested Rittenhouse was a white supremacist.
In a statement released later on Friday, Biden said he, like "many Americans," feels “angry and concerned” about the verdict, but urged Americans to express their views on the outcome “peacefully.”
"We must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Rittenhouse, then 17 years old, killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injured paramedic Gaige Grosskreutz last year amid demonstrations against police brutality in Kenosha, Wis., where police had shot and paralyzed a Black man named Jacob Blake.
Rittenhouse has maintained he shot the men in self defense.
The jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all five of the charges he faced, including intentional homicide.
Biden responded to journalists' questions just after returning to the White House from a routine colonoscopy and physical at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Md., where he went under anesthesia and temporarily transferred power at 10:10 a.m. to Vice President Harris. The president resumed his duties at 11:35 a.m.
— Updated at 3:41 p.m.