USA: Rittenhouse acquittal triggers protests

Status: November 20, 2021 3:59 p.m.

The acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse causes opposition in the USA: Above all, the black community is protesting against the decision. The then 17-year-old shot two people at Black Lives Matter demos in 2020.

Protests broke out in the United States after Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal. The 18-year-old shot two demonstrators and seriously injured a third during anti-racism protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.

The jury acquitted the 17-year-olds at the time of the crime on Friday of the allegations of murder, manslaughter, attempted murder and endangering others.

Acquitted on all counts: Kyle Rittenhouse.

Build: AP

“Guilty, guilty”

People protested this decision in front of the court in Kenosha. They beat the drums and shouted “Guilty, guilty, the whole system is guilty as hell”. There were also protests in Chicago and New York, and in Portland there were clashes between demonstrators and the police.

After the verdict, US President Joe Biden warned of violence and called for calm. “The Kenosha ruling will make many Americans angry and concerned, including me, but we have to acknowledge the jury’s decision,” said Biden. He called on all demonstrators to peacefully express their views.

Politically charged process

The process was politically charged as it was connected to the Black Lives Matter protests last year. Rittenhouse is considered a kind of figurehead in right-wing circles. There it was spread that Rittenhouse had gone to the protests to help as a paramedic or to protect shops from looting.

Numerous Republicans, including former US President Donald Trump, welcomed the verdict. “Congratulations to Kyle Rittenhouse on being found innocent on all charges,” said Trump through his spokeswoman Liz Harrington. “And by the way, if that’s not self-defense, what then!” He added.

Accusation: A judicial system that disadvantages blacks

Many blacks, on the other hand, saw the verdict as indicative of a judicial system that discriminated against minorities. “We have just seen a system built on white supremacy recognize the terrorist acts of a white supremacist,” wrote football player Colin Kaepernick on Twitter.

“Ha, if the boy had been black, he would have had life,” explained racing driver Bubba Wallace. Numerous opponents of guns also protested against the court’s decision.

Protests after acquittal for the shooter of Kenosha

daily news 10:00 a.m., 20.11.2021

Lawyers argue with self-defense

The 18-year-old’s lawyers had argued in court that the youth had acted in self-defense because he had been attacked by demonstrators. Video recordings showed, among others, how a man hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard.

A man injured by Rittenhouse admitted in court that he himself pointed a gun at the teenager. The public prosecutor stated against it that Rittenhouse had provoked the violence himself as a self-proclaimed “auxiliary policeman”. He should never have traveled to Kenosha with an assault rifle.

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