Kyle Rittenhouse is acquitted sparked scattered protests in major cities on Friday night as protesters called the decision a lapse of justice that showed signs of broader failures in the justice system. .
A jury acquitted 18-year-old Rittenhouse of all charges, after his legal team argued he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot three men, two dead, at a racial justice rally last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The incident has deepened divisions in a polarized nation. Protesters say the handling of the case would be far different if the defendant were Black.
From the outset, the trial has been linked to questions of systemic racism in the justice system, with activists comparing the police treatment of Rittenhouse to the treatment of Jacob. Blake, a black man who was paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot by a white Kenosha police officer, sparked protests last year.
Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle, said after the verdict: “You can really smell and see the systemic racism underlying the justice system and the police system.
In an interview with CNN after the verdict, Rittenhouse’s attorney Mark Richards said legally Rittenhouse did nothing wrong. When asked if Rittenhouse felt he had done anything morally wrong, Richards said, “He wishes he didn’t have to.”
“Kyle said, ‘If I had to do it all over again and had any idea what this would happen, I wouldn’t do it,'” Richards told CNN. “…It’s not regret for that.” what he did that night under those circumstances. hindsight is always 20/20.”
Rittenhouse will have an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that will air Monday night, announced network.
Self defense or overreacting?:In a country rife with guns and racial segregation, it’s hard to tell the difference.
‘Completely wordless’:Gabrielle Union, Megyn Kelly, more celebrities react to Kyle Rittenhouse’s verdict
Protesters gather in cities across the country
Protesters took to the streets in cities across the country to speak out against the grand jury’s verdict.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers placed 500 National Guard members on standby in Kenosha before the verdict was announced. But the protests remained peaceful and there were no major clashes in the city on Friday night and early Saturday, The Washington Post reported.
“This war, this struggle is far from over,” a local pastor, Father Monica Cummings, told the crowd at Friday night vigil in Kenosha.
“Love called us here today,” she said, holding a sign that read “Heal Kenosha.”
“Love called us to the streets in August 2020. Love calls us to every action.”
These are the victims of Kyle Rittenhouse’s shooting: Anthony Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum, Gaige Grosskreutz
In Portland, the police declare a riot Friday night, said a group of 10 to 20 people tried to break into the city’s Justice Center and threatened to “burn it down.” Police said A sergeant’s car window was broken, along with the window of a print shop. An arrest was made, as well as 5 citations and 17 warnings.
Hundreds of protesters also gathered at some Protests in New York City, including outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where signs reading “There is no justice in the capitalist courts” and “Only revolution can bring justice” are waved overhead .
Dozens of protests at two downtown Chicago rallies rejected the ruling, and another is planned in the city for Saturday night. Two dozen people protested in a park in downtown San Diego, CBS news. And more than 100 people gathered in downtown Oakland, California, NBC Bay Area reported.
Following Rittenhouse’s acquittal, civil rights activists voiced concerns about the safety of those who opposed the ruling as a result of right-wing groups. Father Jesse Jackson said it could be “open season for human rights protesters” and warned protesters to be careful.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s response to the ruling:From ‘The justice system is broken’ to ‘The justice system has worked’
These are the victims of the shooting:Anthony Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum, Gaige Grosskreutz
President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris react to the ruling
President Joe Biden told reporters Friday that he stood by the ruling, saying “The jury system works.”
In a later statement, he urged Americans to “express their views peacefully.”
“While the Kenosha verdict will make many Americans feel angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has its say.
On Friday’s visit to Columbus, Ohio, Vice President Kamala Harris said she was very disappointed during the acquittal in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
“I’m disappointed in the verdict, I have to tell you,” Harris said, “I think it speaks for itself. But I’ve also spent most of my career focusing on what we need to do to make sure the criminal justice system is fairer and fairer, and we still have a lot of work to do. “
Among the countless legislators, celebrities and high-ranking figures reacting to the ruling, U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., has called for a federal review of the case.
“This heartbreaking verdict is a blunder of justice and sets a dangerous precedent for the DOJ to reconsider federalism. Justice cannot tolerate armed people crossing state lines seeking state lines. trouble while people participate in a First Amendment protected protest”. Nadler wrote on Twitter.
‘Untouchable SuperCitizens’:Will the Rittenhouse ruling promote vigilance – or a necessary step toward greater freedom?
Contributing: Christal Hayes, Ryan Miller and Grace Hauck, USA TODAY; Annysa Johnson, Mark Johnson and Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Related press