We are deeply saddened by today’s decision to not hold Kyle Rittenhouse accountable for his irresponsible, provocative, and deadly actions in Wisconsin. It goes without saying that it’s impossible to imagine this same verdict if Rittenhouse was a Black or Brown teen walking the streets with a semiautomatic rifle. As we learned last month during NFYI’s Juvenile Justice Month campaign, foster youth of color regularly face harsh punishments by the justice system for minor infractions.
As organizers, we are also concerned about the impact that this lack of accountability will have when it comes to future demonstrations. Protests and public demonstrations are powerful and effective tools in the organizer’s toolbox and threats to demonstrators’ safety and lives will have a chilling effect.
Tonight, our thoughts are with the people of Kenosha, with the Movement for Black Lives, and with those who continue to find justice elusive.