Kyle Rittenhouse: BLM Protesters Clash With Pro-Rittenhouse Supporters Outside Court
Supporters of Kyle Rittenhouse clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters outside the courthouse where a jury is deliberating over his trial.
Rittenhouse is facing five felony charges, including first-degree homicide, after he fatally shot two men and injured a third during protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020.
After lawyers delivered their closing arguments on Monday, November 15, the jury began its deliberations over whether Rittenhouse will be found guilty of the crimes. If convicted of the most serious charge against him, the 18-year-old could face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
A number of people gathered outside the courthouse to make their voices heard throughout the trial, with authorities in the area bracing themselves for unrest and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers putting 500 National Guard troops on standby.
As the jury began deliberations, Black Lives Matter protesters came face to face with supporters of Rittenhouse, with footage showing the two groups arguing on the steps of the courthouse.
One Rittenhouse supporter told another demonstrator: ‘Move your Black a** back.’
Other demonstrators could be heard telling the opposing group to ‘shut the f*ck up’, while one person called out ‘you kill your own’, Newsweek reports.
In one video, a Black Lives Matter activist could be heard telling protesters not to ‘feed into’ the arguments, adding: ‘Let our voice be more powerful than this.’
Meanwhile, a Rittenhouse supporter holding a sign which reads ‘self defense is not a crime’ could be heard saying she ‘shouldn’t get hurt over a sign’.
The Kenosha’s Sheriff’s Department announced it would not enforce road closures or curfews ahead of the verdict, though local law enforcement gathered outside the courthouse to keep tabs on the protesters.
In a statement, the department wrote:
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Kenosha Police Department understand and recognize the anxiety surrounding the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
There are many questions being asked from our community as well as media outlets. Our departments have worked together and made coordinated efforts over the last year to improve response capabilities to large scale events.
The statement continued: ‘We have also strengthened our existing relationships with State and Federal resources. At this time, we have no reason to facilitate road closures, enact curfews or ask our communities to modify their daily routines. Lastly and most importantly, we have and will continue to be engaged with our community leaders.’
The trial resumes this morning, November 17, with jurors continuing their deliberations.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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