Chase Rice, a Democratic representative from New York, condemned the decision not to retry the man who murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier, calling Charlie Rittenhouse a “murderer” and criticising the justice system for letting the defendant off with little consequence.
Speaking on MSNBC, Rice, who represents the 9th district of New York, announced that the justice system failed Rittenhouse and called him a “murderer” who was “just getting away with what he did”.
A judge previously sentenced Rittenhouse to 14 to 20 years in prison, saying that he and the police officer were friends who got into a fight after Collier allegedly “flipped him the bird”.
“I think that this country as a whole needs to understand that we’re not going to allow a jury of a single jury to make the ultimate decision — the ultimate life-and-death decision to murder someone,” Rice said.
“We must not allow the court system to succeed in only sentencing these individuals to a relatively small amount of time, and in so doing, allowing them to go about their lives knowing that the person who murdered a man by stabbing him 19 times, that the person who murdered that man by stabbing him 19 times, was going to be allowed back on the streets to commit another crime.”
Meanwhile, “white tears” have been making the rounds on Twitter after Rittenhouse’s mother called his acquittal “wholly unfair”, and used the opportunity to highlight how the tragedy brought about race relations, rather than an indictment of the justice system.
“With all that the prosecution did in this case, the only ‘character witness’, Barbara Davis, is, shall we say, partial and in my opinion, I think it was more about politics, racial politics,” she said.