NJEA’s statement on Kenosha verdict draws backlash on social media – NorthJersey.com

The New Jersey Education Association is under siege on social media for speaking out on the outcome of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, which it called a miscarriage of justice.

Union leaders released a statement on Friday afternoon to express their “anger” and “dismay” that communities are less safe, and they said, the criminal justice system is broken.

“This verdict sent a harmful message that vigilante violence is a reasonable response to constitutionally protected protest,” NJEA officers said.

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But some Facebook users did not appreciate those sentiments. In fact, many of the hundreds of people who posted negative comments did not want to hear anything about the highly publicized trial from the 200,000-member teachers union.

“Stick with education topics,” a woman typed under the union’s post.

“NJEA, repeat after me,” another user wrote. “READING, WRITING and ARITHMETIC, that is my ONLY PURPOSE in kids’ lives!! You’re drunk with power!!”

The union extended condolences to families of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, who were both shot and killed by Rittenhouse with a semi-automatic rifle amid unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. A third man was shot in the arm, but survived.

Story continues below Facebook post.

The riots ensued in August 2020 after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by a police officer and left paralyzed. 

Rittenhouse, then 17, was charged with the shootings and eventually pleaded not guilty. He was tried as an adult; after deliberating for four days, a jury acquitted him.

Rittenhouse told prosecutors under cross-examination that he acted in self-defense during the confrontations, reportedly saying: “I did what I had to do.”

Philip DeVencentis is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: devencentis@northjersey.com

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