Sporadic protests broke out around the country Friday after a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty in the shooting deaths of two people during protests there last year.
In New York, demonstrators shut down the Brooklyn Bridge, and in Portland, Oregon, they forced open a jail gate, prompting the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office to declare a riot.
“The crowd, which was described as hostile, launched urine, alcoholic beverages, water bottles and batteries at deputies during the event,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release early Saturday morning.
The protests were nowhere close to the scope of those in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in the summer of 2020, including the one in Kenosha, during which Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and wounded another.
Still, some people were clearly upset that Rittenhouse was cleared of all five counts against him, including first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Rittenhouse claimed self-defense in the shootings.
The Portland Police Bureau said that vandals broke the windows of the city government’s print shop.
“Additional vandalism was done to the Justice Center building,” the PPB said. An image released by police showed spray-painted graffiti, including the message, “All Cops Are Kyles.”
One arrest was made, with five citations and 17 warnings issued, police said.
In New York, protests began in Brooklyn, then moved over the Brooklyn Bridge and into lower Manhattan, CNN affiliate WABC reported. The bridge was closed briefly.
The New York Police Department used Twitter to advise people to avoid the Manhattan-bound bridge and to expect closures and delays in the area.
In Oakland, California, a crowd marched from city hall to the federal building, shouting “Revolution nothing else,” according to CNN affiliate KGO.
Demonstrators in Chicago marched downtown Friday night amid a “large police presence,” CNN affiliate WBBM reported.
A second demonstration is planned for Saturday afternoon.
In Kenosha, about 65 miles to the north on Lake Michigan, things were “pretty quiet,” CNN’s Natasha Chen reported.
There, families of Rittenhouse’s victims were coming to terms with the verdict.
“We’re still in shock,” the father of Anthony Huber, one of the victims, told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on Saturday.
“That guy [Rittenhouse] gets to run free and he’s now a hero, and this is my son right here. This is Anthony,” John Huber said, holding up a small urn and a photo of his son. “We lost our son and there’s no justice right now for our family and there’s no closure.”
“If one person’s life, or two persons’ lives don’t matter, then none of our lives matter,” Kariann Swart, the fiancee’ of victim Joseph Rosenbaum, told CNN. “It feels like the victims’ lives don’t matter. And I don’t think that’s acceptable.”
The great-aunt of Anthony Huber told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that while “people have a right to self-defense,” her great-nephew “had a right to his life as well.”
“Kyle gets into a situation over his head in terms of his emotional maturity to handle it, walks away after killing two people and serious maiming another one. That doesn’t seem equitable,” the great-aunt, Susan Hughes, told CNN’s Sara Sidner.
In a trailer for a Tucker Carlson documentary, Rittenhouse said the jury reached the right verdict.
“Self-defense is not illegal,” he said.
Preparations for a civil suit are underway for the killing of his son, John Huber said on Saturday, but he did not provide any details.
“We’re gonna fight until there’s justice,” he said.
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