Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict Prompts Downtown Chicago Protests

Rev. Jesse Jackson has called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the trial

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Activists descended on downtown Chicago Saturday in protest of the not guilty verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial, declaring the fight for justice isn't over.

Rittenhouse, 18, from Antioch, was cleared on all five charges Friday related to his actions on Aug. 25 last year, during protests in Kenosha over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer.

Rittenhouse said he acted in self-defense when he killed two people and injured a third, while the prosecution argued he instigated the bloodshed.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, R-Ga., called Kyle Rittenhouse “one of [the] good ones,” while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said calling the verdict a “miscarriage of justice is an understatement."

Speaking a news conference Saturday, Rev. Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow Push Coalition called on people to march "until the streets are overturned."

From Federal Plaza to Millennium Park and other locations across the city, protests began in the hours after the verdict was announced.

"This is the only way that we do this," said Lamar Whitfield, the founder of the No More Foundation. "This is the peaceful way to do this, and our voice is the most powerful weapon."

Prior to Saturday's rally, Jackson called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the trial, saying that no one has a right to kill anyone.

A jury on Friday found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts in his murder trial connected to the shootings of three people during unrest in Kenosha during the summer of 2020. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

"We are going to fight this fight," said Bishop Tavis Grant, national field director with the Rainbow Push Coalition. "...The verdict yesterday brought about a blemish on our democracy and the sad day in our nation."

This coming week, Jackson said he'll be appealing to the Justice Department, along with members of Congress to demand a DOJ investigation into the matter.

Nicholas Stender, organizer with the party for Socialism and Liberation, and his group previously previously planned to meet in Millennium Park to oppose an anti-vaccination rally, but joined in the demonstration at Federal Plaza.

"I would urge everybody who is upset by this ruling to join us in the streets," he stated.

Associated Press/NBC
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