As jury deliberates in Rittenhouse trial, small crowds gather outside the Kenosha courthouse
Jury deliberations are set to resume Wednesday morning in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha. A panel of seven women and five men are evaluating the defendant's claim of self-defense for fatally shooting two men, and wounding a third, during protests last year over Kenosha police severely injuring a Black man, Jacob Blake, Jr.
As jurors began deliberations Tuesday, a crowd slowly built outside the courthouse.
Jacob Blake, Jr.'s uncle and others held a rally to support the families of the two men Rittenhouse fatally shot, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and the wounded man, Gaige Grosskreutz.
Veronica King of the Kenosha Branch of the NAACP joined the gathering. She said she is encouraged that the jury took its time to look at the five felony counts against Rittenhouse. King said she hopes it means the Illinois man will be found guilty on at least one count, and is later sentenced to at least ten years in prison, with five years of community supervision to follow.
"It will show that the jury took his behavior seriously. He wasn't a resident of Kenosha. He came here to wreak havoc,” Kind said. “And I think if he was given some time, it sends a message to others. You don't go in other communities and cause destruction and take people's lives."
During the trial, Rittenhouse testified that he came to Kenosha to help other armed civilians protect businesses, and that his father lives in the city.
Also outside the courthouse were several people who identified themselves as Rittenhouse supporters. Jason Decourt, who traveled from Batavia, Illinois, was one of them.
"The reason I'm here today is that it does seem overwhelmingly there is more of a left-leaning demonstration, and I think a little bit of balance is reasonable,” Decourt said.
Decourt repeatedly said he just wants justice for Rittenhouse, and if the defendant is found guilty at the end of a fair trial, Decourt said he can accept that.
Decourt also said Rittenhouse supporters want Kenosha to be peaceful after the verdict. The Blake family said it wants peace too.
Still, several members of the Kenosha law enforcement watched the gatherings outside the courthouse and are expected to be back Wednesday well as inside when the jury resumes deliberations.