On Friday night, there were protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal in the killing of two people last year.
The demonstrations began in Downtown Brooklyn and continued across the Brooklyn Bridge into Lower Manhattan. So far, the protest has been peaceful, with no arrests made.
In the summer of 2020, Rittenhouse, 18, was charged with homicide, attempted homicide, and reckless endangering after killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a tumultuous night of protests following the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.
Rittenhouse, a former cadet with the Milwaukee Police Department, claimed he went to Kenosha to safeguard property from protesters. He, like those he shot, is white.
The ruling elicited a range of opinions, from those who rejoiced at the acquittal to others who were disappointed.
The decision was condemned by Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, a Black Democratic Senate contender in Wisconsin.
“Many had predicted the conclusion we just saw in the previous several weeks,” Barnes remarked. “Our justice system should uphold the assumption of innocence until proven guilty, but this standard is not always applied evenly. So many black and brown youngsters have been slaughtered only to be tried after their deaths, while the court almost demanded Kyle Rittenhouse’s innocence.”
“All of us who know what happened in Kenosha last year thought this would be the conclusion,” former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, a Republican, tweeted. “Thankfully, the jury came to the same conclusion.”
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