Harris: Rittenhouse verdict shows there is 'a lot more work to do' on criminal justice equity

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Vice President Kamala Harris says the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict shows the country has “a lot more to do” to make the criminal justice system “equitable.”

“The verdict really speaks for itself,” the vice president said while traveling in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday following the verdict. Harris, a lawyer and former attorney general of California, said she had questions about the verdict.

 “As many of you know, I’ve spent the majority of my career working to make the criminal justice system more equitable, and clearly there’s a lot more to do,” she said. 

Kyle Rittenhouse's mother Wendy Rittenhouse reacts to the verdict during her son's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., Nov. 19, 2021.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother Wendy Rittenhouse reacts to the verdict during her son’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., Nov. 19, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/Pool via REUTERS)

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A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts Friday after he had been charged in the shooting deaths of two men and the wounding of another during a riot sparked by the Jacob Blake police shooting in Kenosha last year.

Kyle Rittenhouse reacts after he is found not guilty on all counts at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. 

Kyle Rittenhouse reacts after he is found not guilty on all counts at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021.  (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

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Rittenhouse’s defense lawyers argued that video footage and eyewitness testimony showed Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he fired on the three rioters pursuing him.

President Biden issued a statement earlier in the day calling for Americans to be calm while adding he was angered by the ruling.

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland before traveling to Columbus, Ohio, on Nov.19, 2021. 

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland before traveling to Columbus, Ohio, on Nov.19, 2021.  (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

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“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned — myself included — we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken,” Biden said. “I ran on a promise to bring Americans together because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us.”

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