Protesters gathered outside the Kenosha, Wis. Courthouse on Friday night, where a jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts, participating in tense but ultimately non-violent protests.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (R) warned 500 National Guard soldiers ahead of the verdict in an attempt to deter a repeat of last year’s unrest as Americans took to the streets to protest police brutality .
Armed with an AR-15 style rifle, Rittenhouse killed two people and injured a third last summer during racial justice protests in the lakeside town over the police shooting against Jacob Blake, a black man. (Blake survived seven gunshots in the back.) Despite living out of state, a 17-year-old Rittenhouse drove to Kenosha to ostensibly defend the infrastructure.
He was acquitted of five counts Friday afternoon, including first degree manslaughter. Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense apparently resonated with all 12 jurors.
Rittenhouse supporters, who emerged largely from the political right, clashed with his critics outside the Kenosha courthouse, according to The Daily Beast.
Critics of Rittenhouse generally seemed to expect an acquittal. Still, a handful of protests against the controversial verdict have erupted in other cities across the country.
In Portland, Oregon, police rioted when a group of 100 to 200 protesters gathered around a downtown courthouse smashed nearby windows and vandalized buildings, media reported local. One person was arrested, reported KOIN, a Portland CBS affiliate.
New Yorkers gathered outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which was the site of several major racial justice protests last summer. Hundreds of people reportedly walked from the site to the Brooklyn Bridge that connects the borough to Manhattan; they knelt in solidarity with the victims of police brutality and temporarily blocked traffic.
Smaller protests have also sprung up in cities like Chicago and Oakland, California.
The Huffington Gt