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Critics of Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal say Friday is a 'tragic day' for the country

Teran Powell
Demonstrators in support of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum on the steps of the Kenosha County Courthouse.

Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges on Friday.

Rittenhouse is the 18-year-old from Illinois who shot and killed two men and injured a third during a night of unrest in Kenosha in August 2020. That unrest stemmed from the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, Jr.

Rittenhouse was facing five criminal counts, including first degree intentional homicide.

After more than 20 hours of deliberation, the jurors unanimously found Rittenhouse not guilty.

Justin Blake, Jacob Blake, Jr.’s uncle, shared his reaction to the not guilty verdict. Justin Blake and others had demonstrated outside of the courthouse during the trial, supporting the families of Rittenhouse's victims, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, who were killed, and Gaige Grosskreutz, who was injured.

"Our heart is broken for their family. We've given our total effort from LOC – Leaders of Kenosha, Rainbow Push, from the Blake family to do everything that we could to prop them up, so all they had to do is worry about their families in this case. This is a tragic ass day in the history of this country," said Blake.

Rittenhouse supporters stand outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021.
Emily Files
Rittenhouse supporters stand outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021.

A Rittenhouse supporter said the trial process worked as it should have.

"It's so great that this ended with an acquittal instead of a mistrial or hung jury because there's such a finality for Kyle and there's such a finality for everybody to say you know really, we’re packing it up and we’re leaving."

The Rittenhouse supporter said now that there's a verdict, there’s no more asking if Kyle Rittenhouse is guilty or not guilty.

Teran is WUWM's race & ethnicity reporter.
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