With closing arguments in Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial scheduled to begin Monday, authorities in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are preparing for the possibility of unrest when a verdict is announced.
Rittenhouse, now 18, of Antioch, testified during the trial that he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot two protesters and wounded a third during an August 2020 night of unrest in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, is charged with intentional homicide and other counts for killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz.
Gov. Tony Evers on Friday announced the activation of approximately 500 National Guard troopers in preparation for a possible verdict, but said the members will stage outside of the city on a "standby status."
They will respond if requested by local law enforcement agencies, according to a statement from the governor's office.
Kenosha police released a statement Thursday afternoon, vowing to "ensure the safety" of the community as the trial nears an end.
Police said that officers are monitoring the trial and will work with other law enforcement partners to to prepare as the court moves closer to reaching a verdict.
Kenosha officials added that people can follow their Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest safety information surrounding the outcome of the trial.
In Chicago, the city's police department has canceled one regular day off for officers, but contends the decision is to "address current crime patterns," and hasn't said if it's related to the trial.
Closing arguments in the case are expected to take upwards of four to five hours.
Judge Bruce Schroeder will then reduce the number of jurors from 18 to 12 by drawing names out of a tumbler in much the same way lottery numbers are chosen.
Six people will go home. The rest will deliberate on Rittenhouse’s fate using the instructions written on Friday.