Kyle Rittenhouse family spokesman David Hancock reacted after the 18-year-old was found not guilty on all counts Friday by sounding off on critics who he argued “didn’t want to hear the facts” in the case.
“He was dealt a lot of crappy cards and he stayed strong and his family stayed strong,” Hancock said. “There were ups and downs and finally after all this time he’s a free man.”
Rittenhouse, 18, was charged with first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree intentional homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide after shooting and killing two men and injuring another during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020 following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. His legal team argued that Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, was acting in self-defense.
The prosecution was accused of making several missteps throughout the trial, including charging Rittenhouse with chasing one of the men down, when video footage showed the opposite.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother Wendy Rittenhouse reacts to the verdict during her son’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 19, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/Pool via REUTERS)
But many media pundits and even lawmakers appeared to convict Rittenhouse before the defense presented its case.
“Quite a few people just didn’t want to admit the facts and the truth,” Hancock told Fox News.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., for instance, tweeted that Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist domestic terrorist” following the unrest in Kenosha.
“A 17 year old white supremacist domestic terrorist drove across state lines, armed with an AR 15,” Pressley wrote in 2020. “He shot and killed 2 people who had assembled to affirm the value, dignity, and worth of Black lives.”
In a 2020 presidential campaign video, then-candidate Joe Biden suggested Rittenhouse was a White supremacist and called on President Trump to condemn him and several others.
Judge Bruce Schroeder, right, listens as the verdicts are ready by Judicial Assistant Tami Mielcarek in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. The jury came back with its verdict afer close to 3 1/2 days of deliberation. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool) (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries told the jury to “Lock up Kyle Rittenhouse and throw away the key” earlier this month as the trial got underway.
Hancock said he was never nervous that the trial had taken so long because he believed the jury was taking their time and “being careful about every single instruction.”
“They had to be right” about their verdict, Hancock said, adding that “they were.”
“I’m beyond proud of Kyle for the way he’s handled this past year and I’m so very relieved he can live his life as an innocent man,” he said.
Kyle Rittenhouse reacts to the verdict during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 19, 2021. ( Sean Krajacic/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Hancock said he expected “great things” to come out of Rittenhouse in the next few years as the teenager plans to return to Arizona State University.
Rittenhouse and his family immediately left the courthouse and the surrounding area following the verdict. Asked if the family was concerned about his safety, Hancock said they were “going to do what we need to do to keep Kyle safe.”
Rittenhouse would have faced a mandatory life sentence if found guilty.