Joe Biden has said he was left angered after a teenager was cleared of all charges for killing two men during racial justice protests in Wisconsin last year.
yle Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted of first-degree murder and four other charges on Friday night after he fatally shot two people and injured another during demonstrations in Kenosha.
In a statement, President Biden has now acknowledged the verdict “will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included.” He added that everyone “must acknowledge that the jury has spoken”.
He said that he “ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us.”
“I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. I know that we’re not going to heal our country’s wounds overnight, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, with fairness and dignity, under the law,” the statement reads.
A jury determined that Rittenhouse had acted in self-defence and found him not guilty of two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide and two counts of recklessly endangering safety.
His legal team argued that he had attended the protest to protect private property.
The demonstration on August 25 had been marred by arson, rioting and looting.
Rittenhouse broke down sobbing after the verdict, which came shortly after the judge warned the courtroom to remain silent or be removed.
Riots broke out on Friday night in reaction to the verdict, with more than 200 protestors gathering in the streets of Portland.
The protest turned violent as rioters began smashing windows and throwing objects at police.
The police tweeted: “A crowd has gathered near SE 2nd Avenue and SE Madison Street and participants have begun breaking windows and damaging doors of city facilities in the area. People are throwing objects at police officers in the area.”