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Statement on Kenosha Court Verdict for White Supremacist Killer

On November 19th, an armed and militant white supremacist killer was found not guilty after traveling to Kenosha with the intention to harm protestors who were demanding justice for the attempted murder of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police. The killer, Kyle Rittenhouse, took the lives of Anthony Huber and JoJo Rosenbaum and injured Gaige Grosskreutz. This decision is a symptom of a white supremacist system, a system that allows white men to kill without consequence in the name of the continued oppression of Black people. 

On August 25th 2020, Rittenhouse waved an assault rifle openly in the streets without any interference from the police, who were arresting others for protesting with no weapons. This should not come as a surprise because it is in line with the research of the ACLU, who have found through open records requests that police encourage white militia to engage in violence due to their own failed attempts at crowd control. Rittenhouse then shot 3 protesters, killing two. White supremacy was at play at every level; Kenosha police did nothing to Rittenhouse instead threatening protesters; the judge displayed obvious bias towards this killer throughout the trial; and now, white supremacists will feel empowered to enact more violence, knowing that they will be protected by the state and “justice” system. 

“We simply cannot depend on the government to protect low-income Black, brown and Southeast Asian communities from white supremacists violence,” said M Adams, co-executive director of Freedom, Inc. “This is exactly why we have been calling for Community Control Over Police.”

Had the verdict been different, there still would have been no justice served. Justice for our communities looks like investing life-affirming resources and putting power into the hands of our people, the ones who are most impacted by white supremacist violence. Black children get punished more harshly for fighting in school than white children get for murdering people in the street. We must keep police out of our schools and out of our communities as a whole. This verdict is a reminder that the police and courts are not here to protect us, which is why we need community control over police, over schools, over budgets, and over our lives.

Support the work of our comrades on the ground: Leaders of Kenosha, Milwaukee’s BLOC, and #All In Wisconsin! We must keep resisting until we have the resources our communities need. We must #ReimagineKenosha and #InvestInCommunity by defunding the police and making sure people’s basic needs are met.

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