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NASW decries acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is deeply disappointed by the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges. The verdict is not only a chilling collapse of justice but also painful evidence of the deep roots of white supremacy in our criminal legal system. We grieve with the families of Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz, who were denied justice.

In speaking about Rittenhouse’s acquittal, Huber’s mother said, “[T]here is no accountability for the person who murdered our son. It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street. We hope that decent people will join us in forcefully rejecting that message and demanding more of our laws, our officials, and our justice system.”


There is no legal justification or valid claim to self-defense when an individual travels across state lines with an illegally purchased firearm, provokes and then murders two people and injures a third. None of our fellow Americans should have lost their lives at the hands of an armed vigilante while exercising their First Amendment rights to protest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.


We must recommit ourselves to fixing our profoundly broken criminal legal system and to common sense reforms to our gun laws.


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.