In August 2020, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot three men, killing two of them during a protest against police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, were killed and Gaige Grosskreutz was injured.

He argued self defense. A jury found him not guilty of all counts.

We condemn the act of bringing an assault rifle to a demonstration. Any form of gun violence is never the answer. Assault rifles have no place at a protest, which are by nature intended to be an act of freedom of speech and expression. Bringing an assault rifle to a protest sends the wrong message that armed civilians can show up to a protest and incite violence.

As the District Attorney of Alameda County, I wholeheartedly support an individual’s right to protest, to gather peacefully and to demonstrate. Protests over the decades have led to important societal change. In the protests in 2020 over the merciless and brutal killing of George Floyd, we joined those who raised their voices against police brutality, racism and inequity, and continue to do so.

As people may choose to demonstrate their frustration over the verdict, we must be mindful of keeping protests non-violent and peaceful, and respect the community in which we live.

In the eyes of the families, friends and colleagues who lost their loved ones, justice was not served. Our hearts are with them as they continue to mourn the lives of their loved ones.

This office will continue to work with our community, will continue to create programs and policies that support victims of crime and we will continue to assist those who are justice-involved to move beyond the criminal justice system. We will continue to provide opportunities for young people to build skills and build hope for a bright and safe