By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and his higher-office seeking lieutenant criticized the Kenosha County jury verdict Friday finding Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts. Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes again refused to take responsibility for helping to light the fuse on the riots that led to the homicide trial.
Evers, like other Wisconsin political leaders, called for calm after the verdict.
“We must have peace in Kenosha and our communities, and any efforts or actions aimed at sowing division are unwelcome in our state as they will only hinder that healing,” he said in a statement that attempts to sow division.
His call for calm was a different response from the incendiary statement he sent out in August 2020, not long after a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake, a black man who had repeatedly resisted arrest and had a knife during a domestic disturbance. Soon after, all hell broke loose in Kenosha. Looters and rioters started smashing up and burning down large swaths of the city’s business districts in the name of “social justice.”
On the third night of the riots, after Evers failed to send in enough National Guard members to restore order, Rittenhouse fatally shot two rioters and wounded another.
“Had Governor Evers and Lt. Governor Barnes taken control of the situation earlier last August, rather than fan the flames of unrest, this whole situation could have been avoided. Unfortunately, Barnes has already decided to fan the flames again. Words and actions have meaning,” Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), who represents Kenosha County, said in a statement.
After Friday’s verdict, Barnes attacked the judicial system as racist. And he used the moment to campaign for U.S. Senate.
“For the past few weeks, many dreaded the outcome we just witnessed.” Barnes declared. “The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is what we should expect from our judicial system, but that standard is not always applied equally. We have seen so many black and brown youth killed, only to be put on trial posthumously, while the innocence of Kyle Rittenhouse was virtually demanded by the judge.”
Barnes, who has constantly stoked the flames of racial division and pushed the radical left’s mantra of systemic racism, fails to note that the three men Rittenhouse shot were white. The jury’s verdict confirms what many Americans believe, that Rittenhouse defended himself from violent rioters who had assaulted and threatened to kill him.
Barnes’ version of “justice” is apparently mob rule. And he’s hoping the mob elects him next year to replace U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh), who has yet to publicly commit to a third term.
“I believe justice has been served in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. I hope everyone can accept the verdict, remain peaceful, and let the community of Kenosha heal and rebuild,” Johnson said in a statement.
Once again, Evers made no direct mention of the business and home owners and renters who had their lives torn apart by the “civil unrest” that shook the Lake Michigan city to its core. He did offer his political sorrow for the rioters killed and wounded by Rittenhouse, while pushing the left’s radical “social justice” agenda.
“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,” Evers said. “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.”
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said the unanimous verdict may be shocking for some, but for many others it’s proof our justice system works. The right to a trial by a jury of our peers, he said, is a fundamental part of the checks and balances of this country.”
“Let’s hope politicians and activists who disagree with the verdict don’t use this as an opportunity to sew more division and destruction in our community. For those disappointed in the outcome, I urge peace and unity over violence and destruction,” Vos said.