Warriors’ Steve Kerr responds to Kyle Rittenhouse verdict: ‘This is America’

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Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr works the sidelines during a 2020 game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver. - Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America/TNS

Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr said what many were thinking after a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges on Friday.

“This is America,” Kerr said Friday before his team played the Pistons. “We’re treading down a dangerous path.

“It wasn’t a shocking verdict, but one that poses great risk going forward if we continue to go down this path. ... States determining that people can just carry — even underaged people — weapons of war,” Kerr also said.

Rittenhouse, 18, shot two men to death and wounded another in Kenosha, Wis., last summer during anti-police brutality protests. On Friday, a mostly all-white jury ruled Rittenhouse “not guilty” and believed he was a scared teen defending himself instead of a vigilante.

Rittenhouse, who is from Antioch, Ill., crossed the state border in August of 2020, picked up an AR-style semi-automatic weapon he recently purchased, and as a then-17-year-old went to the protests in Kenosha held after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by police and left partially paralyzed.

“The thing I’m most concerned about is gun laws in this country,” Kerr said. “The fact that we are seemingly OK with a teenager’s right to take an AR-15 into an area where there’s civil unrest. That’s really scary and concerning. But this is where we are with gun laws.

“This is why we have to have safer gun laws in place. To protect ourselves, to protect each other.”