Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., was called out on social media after tweeting to "Lock up Kyle Rittenhouse and throw away the key," in reference to the armed 17-year-old who killed two people and wounded another during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.
Jeffries sent out the message as the armed teenager's trial was airing live on television, causing many to speculate whether his comments were appropriate as an elected official given the undetermined nature of the trial, according to Fox News.
Former CIA Operations Officer Bryan Dean Wright tweeted in reply to Jeffries:
"This is a Leftist. He's not interested in justice or the law. He's interested in power, no matter who he has to jail."
Others mentioned Jeffries vocally called for the end of mass incarceration and the defunding of the "prison industrial complex" on the same Twitter account last year.
A June 2020 tweet read:
"End. Mass. Incarceration. Defund The Prison Industrial Complex."
Rittenhouse is charged with two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, recklessly endangering safety, and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 – being 17 at the time of the incident.
Attorneys for Rittenhouse have argued their client fired his AR-15 style rifle in self defense after being chased by a mob of rioters and faced with a gun.
The prosecution has tried to depict Rittenhouse as the one who instigated the confrontation.
The defense asked the presiding judge Wednesday for a mistrial with prejudice after a series of infractions from the prosecution, which would end the trial and prevent Rittenhouse from being brought up on the same charges again.
A decision from the judge on the defendant's suggestion has not yet been made.
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