Today Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of the fatal shooting of two, and injury of another, during the protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake by the Kenosha Police Department in Wisconsin. The situation arose due to an outrageous failure to protect protesters by the Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office.
ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Athar Haseebullah said:
“Today, we should all be honest in recognizing the impact that violence in defense of white supremacy has had on our Black and Brown communities. This violence has been endorsed by policing and criminal legal systems throughout the country and these systems have been exposed as unjust and unequal almost without fail.
In Kenosha, police encouraged white militia members to become armed vigilantes in the street, used violence against protesters, and drove protesters towards deadly militia groups. Kyle Rittenhouse traveled across state lines, killed others, and was treated warmly by police and was thereafter treated like a son by the judge during his homicide trial. We need not look very far for an example of disparate treatment, as during the same summer of civil unrest, police in Nevada killed a peaceful, armed protester named Jorge Gomez who neither took life nor threatened it. Kyle Rittenhouse will now walk free, a folk hero to white supremacists, while Jorge Gomez’ family is left to grieve without answers and without justice.
How can Black and Brown people be expected to believe in a system of “justice” that demonstrates inequality over and over? Think pieces and justifications for these double standards do little but enflame tensions as most are no longer blind to injustice. Nevada leaders need to be honest in addressing injustice and double standards and must root out racial bias within policing and our criminal legal system. Justice and equality should not always be aspirational.”
ABOUT THE ACLU OF NEVADA
The ACLU of Nevada is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to the defense and advancement of civil liberties and civil rights for all people in Nevada since 1966.