A jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on Friday of murder in the fatal shooting of two men during racial justice protests in a decision that re-ignited fierce debate about gun rights and the boundaries of self defense in the United States, reports Reuters.
However, US President joe Biden has expressed dismay at the verdict in a written statement after earlier telling reporters he supported the jury's decision, according to BBC.
He asked Americans to express their views peacefully following a jury's acquittal of teenager Kyle Rittenhouse of murder in the fatal shooting of two men during racial justice protests last year.
Biden said in a statement he had spoken with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to offer support and any assistance needed to ensure public safety.
"While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken," Biden said.
"I urge everyone to express their views peacefully, consistent with the rule of law. Violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy," he said.
Jurors found Rittenhouse, 18, not guilty on all charges: two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide for wounding a third man, and two counts of recklessly endangering safety in protests marred by arson, rioting and looting on Aug. 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse broke down sobbing after the verdict and collapsed to the floor before being helped back into his chair, his hands shaking. His mother also wept.
Amid a heavy law enforcement presence, several dozen protesters lined the steps outside the courthouse after the verdict was read, some carrying placards in support of Rittenhouse and others expressing disappointment. By early evening, the crowd had thinned to a handful of people and there was no sign of disturbances in the city.