CHICAGO (AP) — For many Black Americans, Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal on all charges by a Wisconsin jury on Friday confirmed their belief in two justice systems: one for white people and another for Black people.
Rittenhouse, the two men he killed and the man he wounded were all white, but the case has been linked from the start to issues of race and the criminal justice system.
Activists have previously pointed to differences in how police handled Rittenhouse’s case and that of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot by a white Kenosha police officer in August 2020, sparking protests in the city that became destructive and violent.
Video footage played during the trial showed Rittenhouse running toward police still wearing his rifle, and continuing past the police line at officers’ direction. He turned himself in to police in Antioch, Illinois, early the following day.
And though Kenosha prosecutors filed serious charges that had the potential to put Rittenhouse in prison for life, the criminal trial also struck many activists as unusually deferential to the defendant.
“You can really smell and see the underlying systemic racism that’s in the judicial system and the policing system,” said Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s …read more