On Friday afternoon, after 25 hours of deliberations, the jury in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse ruled the defendant not guilty on all five criminal charges brought against him. 

It has been more than a year since Kyle Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-15 and med kit, defended a business in Kenosha, Wisconsin, from Black Lives Matter rioters. Rittenhouse was 17 years old at the time.

An unfortunate series of events culminated in Kyle shooting three rioters, two of which ultimately died. The state pressed six charges against Rittenhouse, but the judge dismissed a charge of felony possession of a dangerous weapon by someone under 18, since Rittenhouse met requirements for an exception. 

The final five charges faced by the defendant were attempted intentional reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, and first-degree reckless homicide. The charges carried with them a long enough prison sentence to potentially put 18-year-old Kyle away for the rest of his life. 

Following the jury’s decision to acquit Kyle on all charges, numerous Texas politicians spoke out about the verdict. 

Senator Ted Cruz and gubernatorial candidate Chad Prather both spoke on the media’s portrayal of Rittenhouse throughout the case, as well as the importance of the “God-given right to self-defense.”

Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted simply, “NOT GUILTY!”

Former State Sen. Don Huffines and former Texas GOP Chair Allen West, both of whom are also mounting campaigns against Abbott, issued official statements supporting the jury’s decision. 

“The not-guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case is a victory for not only Kyle but every patriot throughout our nation,” said Huffines. “Mr. Rittenhouse acted bravely to defend himself and his community, but it was clear from the start that the radical left was gunning for revenge, not justice.” 

“Everyone in this republic has a right to self-defense,” said West, adding that he was “pleased that the jury sided with Mr. Rittenhouse in this obvious example of self-defense.”

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) raised a question to President Biden, referencing a tweet from last year in which the president called Kyle Rittenhouse a “ white supremacist.” The president commented on the jury’s decision shortly after the acquittal, saying, “I stand by what the jury has concluded, the jury system works and we have to abide by it.”

State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler), who authored Texas’ newly enacted constitutional carry law, took aim at media bias.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “Justice, due process, and the unalienable right to self-defense won today,” adding that now, “we pray for peace.”