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Statement of Arlington Democrats Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus on Rittenhouse Trial Verdict

Last Friday, a jury in Wisconsin found Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who shot and killed two men at a racial justice protest in Wisconsin last summer, not guilty on all charges. The Arlington Democrats AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Caucus is deeply disturbed by the process and the outcome of this trial.

On August 25, 2020, people gathered in Kenosha, WIsconsin to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who is now disabled after being shot seven times in the back. Rittenhouse armed himself with an AR-15-style rifle and crossed state lines to join a group opposing the protesters, in effect becoming a vigilante for White supremacy.

During Rittenhouse’s trial, the systemic racism within the criminal legal system was on display as the court forbade prosecutors from referring to the people shot by Rittenhouse as “victims” but allowed the defense to label them as “rioters.” This dehumanization of people protesting police violence against Black and Brown people is just one example of how the current system is biased against communities of color.

The Arlington Dems AAPI Caucus continues to work to dismantle systems that uphold White supremacy and to support reforms to end racism. We will do our part to build an equitable system so Black and Brown residents of Arlington County are able to access true justice.

We must not live in fear. Now is the time to invest in building a more equal and equitable Arlington County and to speak out against racial injustice throughout our country.

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