Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted of all charges

COURT CLERK: "We the jury find the defendant Kyle H... Kyle H. Rittenhouse not guilty."

Collapsing to the floor upon hearing the final verdict, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on Friday on all five charges relating to his fatal shooting of two men and wounding of a third with a semi-automatic rifle during chaotic racial justice protests last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

KENOSHA COUNTY JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER: "Charges against the defendant on all counts are dismissed with prejudice and he's released from the obligation of his bond."

After the verdict, defense attorney Mark Richards said he was relieved and grateful, after the jury determined his client had acted in self-defense.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY MARK RICHARDS: "He did not start this and we're thankful, in more ways than one, that the jury finally got to hear the true story."

It took the 12-member jury roughly 25 hours over three and half days to find the 18-year-old not guilty on two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide and two counts of recklessly endangering safety.

Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and shot the arm of Gaige Grosskreutz with an AR-15-style rifle during unrest that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was left paralyzed from the waist down after the incident.

The teenager's trial has further polarized the country, highlighting gaping divisions in American society around contentious issues related to race, gun rights and the boundaries of self-defense.

In a sign of the trial's impact, U.S. President Joe Biden weighed in on the most closely watched case in the nation.

BIDEN: "I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it."

Amid a heavy law enforcement presence, several dozen protesters gathered outside the courthouse after the verdict was read, some in support of Rittenhouse and others expressing disappointment.

Brandon Lesco said he traveled from Los Angeles, California, to be there.

LESCO: "I'm very pleased. It's just. That's what makes me want to be American: to get just verdicts from jurors."

Prince Mapp traveled to Kenosha from New York City.

MAPP: "I wasn't shocked. I wasn't surprised at all. [FLASH] The judge set the tone."

The verdict has been met with outrage by many on the left, who view Rittenhouse as a reckless vigilante who provoked the violent encounters.

Many conservatives, who view the 18-year-old as a hero, see the verdict as a validation of the right to bear arms and called the shootings justified.

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