Blacks for Political and Social Action of Dane County, Incorporated (BPSADC), an organization committed to advancing diversity, inclusion, equity and justice in sectors that adversely impact African Americans and other similarly affected groups in Dane County, Wisconsin and beyond, has issued a statement on the not-guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case saying that it is “a reminder that we have a justice system that presents different outcomes based on the race of the accused.”
On Friday, Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges by a jury in the Kenosha County Circuit Court including first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges. The statement, signed by BPSADC President Rev. David Hart, Esq. and BPSADC Vice President Kirbie Mack, says that the decision is a “lamentable but expected outcome in a criminal justice system and society that still operates as the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson is controlling law.”
The BPSADC statement follows:
For the last year or so, and certainly the last few weeks, we have been watching or have become aware of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. He was accused of illegally carrying a gun across state lines, killing two individuals, while injuring a third.
As you have no doubt heard, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of every charge that he faced today, even the lesser included offenses.
The verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case is a lamentable but expected outcome in a criminal justice system and society that still operates as the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson is controlling law. The verdict is a blow to those waiting in the society to deliver justice on behalf of those who lost their lives as they peacefully assembled to protest against police brutality and violence.
Rittenhouse’s decision to cross state lines to Kenosha, totting and brandishing a gun to provoke protestors, was unwarranted. What is more, the outcome of this case sets a dangerous precedent for those who wish to silence our cries for freedom and equality.
The verdict is a reminder that we have a justice system that presents different outcomes based on the race of the accused. In the wake of this appalling verdict, we must continue to work to ensure that those who seek to harm progress do not find refuge for their illicit acts in a system meant to protect victims.