Social media erupted Friday with celebrities voicing their opinions on the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of all charges against him, including of intentional homicide – the most serious of five charges against him in a case that largely divided America along political and racial lines more than a year after he shot three men during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Absolutely no words,” actor Josh Gad tweeted in response to the Rittenhouse verdict.
He continued: “It has now been put it out there that vigilantes can just go and kill people protesting issues like racial equality whenever they want and get away with it. Think about that for a second.”
Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz during often violent protests in the summer of 2020 following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha. Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, faced charges ranging from intentional homicide to reckless and attempted homicide.
The Rittenhouse case garnered national attention from the beginning, a reflection of the country’s division over race, guns and politics.
The jury finding Rittenhouse not guilty reignited some of those feelings with LeVar Burton tweeting: “Tell me again there are not two kinds justice in America!”
Gabrielle Union added “100” emojis to a quote tweet of New York Times Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who tied the verdict to the history of slavery.
“In this country, you can even kill white people and get away with it if those white people are fighting for Black lives. This is the legacy of 1619,” she tweeted.
Viola Davis responded to the verdict by tweeting: “Welcome to America.”
MSNBC commentator Joy-Ann Reid implied the justice system is working as it was intended to.
“We knew, but it’s sometimes helpful to remind ourselves how America was designed to work. It continues to work as designed. We have learned again what is considered legal for *some* people to do in America. It’s helpful to know where you stand in your country. Be safe out there,” Reid’s tweet read.
Moments after the verdict was announced, Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams tweeted she was “not surprised.”
Anita Baker was also unsurprised by the news. “We already knew,” she tweeted.
George Takei echoed Reid’s sentiments and vowed that just because justice wasn’t served, did not mean he would stop fighting for it.
“Justice denied is a body blow to our national psyche. On trial was not only a killer, but a system that continues to kill. Today that system defeated true justice, once again. But mark these words: We will never stop fighting for what is right and just,” Takei tweeted.
Andy Cohen’s tweet expressed frustration at Rittenhouse’s verdict, while Daniel Dae Kim shared he wasn’t surprised by the outcome.
Ava DuVernay shared words by Anthony Huber’s parents.
“John Huber and Karen Bloom, parents of murderer #KyleRittenhouse’s victim Anthony Huber: the verdict ‘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.’ “
“In other news you could see coming from a mile away…” Kim tweeted.
Brooklyn Decker called the verdict a “disaster.”
“The precedent is terrifying. The injustice is hard to stomach,” she tweeted.
Contributing: Lindsay Schnell, Celina Tebor, Ryan W. Miller, Christal Hayes