(The Center Square) – Several downstate Illinois lawmakers are blasting Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his comments following the Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty verdicts.
A Wisconsin jury acquitted the 18-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, on charges stemming from killing two men and wounding another during unrest last year, finding he acted in self-defense.
Pritzker issued a statement following the not guilty verdicts.
“Carrying a loaded gun into a community 20 miles from your home and shooting unarmed citizens is fundamentally wrong. It’s a tragedy that the court could not acknowledge that basic fact.”
State Reps. Adam Niemerg, R-Dieterich; Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville; Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur; and Chris Miller, R-Oakland called the remarks irresponsible and dangerous.
“It is unbelievable to me to think that he can unilaterally preside over a case and say guilty or innocent when he has no idea of the evidence, no idea of what has happened in this particular instance,” said Niemerg.
In a written statement, the four lawmakers called the governor’s comments beyond reprehensible.
“The real tragedy here is that Illinois has a reckless, thoughtless governor who puts far-left politics ahead of the Constitution and ahead of the rights of citizens of this state.”
It is not the first time a Democrat has voiced displeasure with the verdict.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused the judge in the trial of shaping the evidence that was getting presented to the jury.
“I’m an old trial lawyer, and I know when I see a judge putting his thumb on a scale for a particular results, I was not at all surprised,” she said. “Did he do well excluding evidence, now allowing the deceased to be called victims, not letting certain things go?”
On Monday, Mary Lemanski, social media manager for the Democratic Party of DuPage County, was forced out after posing a series of tweets comparing Rittenhouse to the driver of the SUV that plowed into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
“It was probably just self-defense #Wisconsin #KyleRittenhouse,” Lemanski tweeted about the tragedy that left 5 dead and dozens injured.
Lemanski later made a statement on Facebook.
“I realize how hateful and hurtful my comments were, and I am truly sorry for the division and suffering I have caused. As a person who is generally always working for peace and harmony, I am ashamed of my behavior, and I hope the people of Waukesha will find healing and peace in the wake of this horrible event.”