Calls for calm after US teen cleared of murder

Calls for calm after US teen cleared of murder
A riot was declared in Portland, Oregon, as demonstrators smashed windows and threatened to burn down the Justice Center. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: There have been calls for calm in the United States after a teenager who shot dead two people during racial unrest last year was cleared of all charges.

Kyle Rittenhouse, now 18, argued he was acting in self-defence when he shot the men, both of them are white, and injured a third in Wisconsin.

The verdict on Friday, which followed a high-profile trial that divided the country, sparked protests in some cities.

But politicians, including President Biden, and families of the victims have urged restraint.

In a statement, lawyers for the family of Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot and injured by Mr Rittenhouse, said: “What we need right now is justice, not more violence.’

President Biden said: ”I urge everyone to express their views peacefully, consistent with the rule of law.”

Despite the calls for calm, a riot was declared by police on Friday evening in the city of Portland, Oregon, as some 200 people broke windows and threw objects.

There were also protests in New York and Chicago, but they were relatively low-key compared to the widespread civil unrest that the US had seen previously.

Mr Rittenhouse said he was acting in self-defence when he fatally shot Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and injured Mr Grosskreutz, 28, in August 2020 in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The incident happened during violent protests over the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer.

Jacob Blake’s uncle was outside the court when the verdict was handed down.

Mr Blake said: “We’re going to continue to fight and we’re going to continue to be peaceful. Let freedom ring.”

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