Rage Against the Machine condemns Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal in emotive statement

Rage Against the Machine bemoaned the state of the US justice system with a powerful statement condemning the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. 

The 18-year-old was found not guilty on all charges after the jury determined he acted in self-defence when he shot and killed two men and injured another with a semi-automatic rifle in the chaos of a Black Lives Matter protest last year. 

"What defines innocence in America?" the band captioned an Instagram image of Rittenhouse sobbing while testifying in court.

"Tamir Rice was executed by police for playing with a toy. Nobody was charged. Ahmaud Arbery went jogging and was murdered in broad daylight," the statement continued. 

"Kyle Rittenhouse armed himself and killed people who were fighting for racial justice. He claimed self-defence. 

"This is the settler logic of America's founding myth: Whiteness must cast itself as the victim in order to justify its violence against those resisting its oppression. 

"Welcome to the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave." 

Rage Against the Machine star Tom Morello also made an individual comment on the trial's outcome on Twitter, writing:  "When the courts do what they were designed to do and protect and enforce white supremacy: Don't mourn, organise." 

Just hours after Rittenhouse's acquittal, police in Portland were forced to declare a riot after about 200 protesters turned destructive, damaging the front gate of the Multnomah County Justice Center and clashing with officers. 

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said some demonstrators had thrown urine, water bottles and batteries at police officers.

Protests were also seen in New York with hundreds gathered outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to express their fury at the verdict.