Protesters Trace the Route Rittenhouse Took in Kenosha

This Sunday, several protestors assembled in Kenosha’s Civic Center Park, Winston, to protest against the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. Chants of ‘No Justice No Peace’ and ‘Anthony and Jo Jo’ filled the air, demonstrating their disapproval of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial verdict.

On Friday, in a historic ruling, the white teenager who had shot and killed two other white men in Kenosha was decided as not guilty in all of the murder charges. The horrific killing had occurred in the wake of August 2020 unrest in Kenosha, just nights after a black man ‘Jacob Blake’ was killed by a white police officer ‘Rusten Sheskey’.

Chaos had erupted in Kenosha after Blake’s murder. African Americans and those against racism started the ‘Black Lives Matter campaign to protest against the injustice committed by the policeman.

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What Charges Did Kyle Rittenhouse Face?

Kyle Rittenhouse faced five charges in the courts of justice.

These included a ‘first-degree homicide’ charge- capable of putting a person away in prison for a lifetime, plus other charges such as the ‘possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18’, two charges of ‘first-degree recklessly endangering safety, ‘use of a dangerous weapon’ and ‘failure to comply with an emergency order from the state or local government’.

One of the significant lawsuits was that Kyle Rittenhouse was carrying a dangerous weapon despite being underage- he was 17 at the time of the shooting.

Judge Schroeder dropped this charge after Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyers proved in court that the law was not applicable on the type of gun Kyle Rittenhouse was using. 

Rittenhouse

The Verdict

The ruling was announced on Friday after the 12 jurors deliberated for three days without reaching a decision. Kyle Rittenhouse was seen at first staying silent until all the charges were read out one by one. As the fifth not-guilty verdict was announced, Kyle started sobbing in relief.

“To say that we were relieved would be a gross misunderstanding,” Defense Attorney Mark Richards had said, after the verdict. “Kyle is not here. He’s on his way home. He wants to get on with his life. He has a huge sense of relief for what the jury did to him today.”

Prosecutors said that although the state was “disappointed with the verdict, it must be respected”.

In a statement, Huber’s parents expressed their dismay over the verdict, saying, “today’s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son.

It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street”.

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The Protest Continues

The protest was organized after Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal was initiated in Chicago. Protestors such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson walked with banners up to Kenosha, tracing Kyle’s route to reach Kenosha in August 2020. The protestors carried signs that said, “The whole system is guilty” and “Reject racist vigilante terror”.

The Rainbow PUSH coalition’s National Field Director Bishop Grant said, “The verdict of not guilty is very revealing of the state of criminal justice in America”. 

In his statement, he also added that Kyle Rittenhouse had violated federal laws. The organization also stated that the Justice Department should consider aiding and abetting charges for Rittenhouse’s mother. However, legal experts say that federal laws don’t cover situations like these.

This case was a hard one for the justice system, with all the political implications present. Moreover, it was a tough case for the prosecution, in light of the legalities involved. Although some legal experts questioned some aspects of the jury trial, on the whole, however, they say that the decision is to be respected.

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