Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal sparks US protest night

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Hundreds of people gathered on Friday night (19) in several American cities to protest the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old white man who shot three men and killed two of them during an anti-racist act in Kenosha, in August 2020.

Acts were recorded in Portland, Chicago, New York and Columbus, according to the New York Times.

This Friday, Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges against which he was the target. He was tried for shooting an AR-15 rifle at Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz — the first two died from their wounds. At the time, he was 17 years old.

In Portland, Oregon, the protest was considered a riot by police. According to authorities, protesters broke windows and damaged doors. In other cities, acts were peaceful. In Chicago, dozens of people gathered downtown and marched through the streets against the decision.

In New York, protesters gathered outside the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, joining the crowd as they arrived to watch a basketball game. Around 8:00 pm, about 200 people began a march along Flatbush Avenue towards the Manhattan Bridge.

“I didn’t expect there to be full justice, but the acquittal of all charges was a slap in the face,” said Saman Waquad, 38. “If it was a black or brown child, he or she would be dead by now.”

In Columbus, Ohio, about 100 protesters gathered outside the House after marching. They chanted “the whole system is guilty” and “send that killer boy to prison,” according to a video published by an Ohio State University student newspaper.

Rittenhouse’s trial polarized the United States, and debates around the case have once again exposed open wounds in American society around controversial issues such as the right to guns.

understand the case

The acts in Kenosha, Wisconsin, began after Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot in the back by a white agent during a police raid two days earlier, in an action filmed by witnesses. Three months earlier, George Floyd had been murdered by another white policeman.

Rittenhouse lived in Antioch, Illinois, about 20 miles from Kenosha. He crossed the border into the neighboring state in response to the call of civil groups, formed mostly by white people, who organized themselves on social networks to summon activists against the protest agenda.

These groups claimed to protect property from looting and depredation during the demonstrations.

Images recorded by witnesses recorded the moment when protesters tried to disarm Rittenhouse after he shot one of them. The teenager then fired point-blank shots at his pursuers, which resulted in two deaths. ​As he presented his defense in court on Wednesday (10), Rittenhouse wept profusely. He said he had been threatened twice with death by Rosenbaum, 36, and that he was in the act to protect a used car dealership with other gunmen.

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