CHICAGO — Reaction to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict was not just in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted of all charges Friday after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings
Just outside Millennium Park in Chicago, protesters shut down the Michigan Avenue and Madison Street intersection Friday night. A couple dozen people formed a circle. The group was surrounded by Chicago Police officers with bicycles. The department had already canceled some days off, as police braced for reaction to the outcome of the Rittenhouse trial.
The march started a half mile away at Federal Plaza, where those protesters held signs. The march and rally lasted in total about 90 minutes.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation organized the rally. Its members fear the ramifications of Rittenhouse’s acquittal.
“We have to protest tonight to show these right-wingers, to show the system that we won’t back down,” Shavvir Manjee said. “Because the precedent that they’re setting is that these armed vigilantes can show up to our protests, show up to where we’re making demands, and threaten us and intimidate us. And we’re here to say we won’t be intimidated.”
Their disappointment was echoed in city and state leadership, too.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a statement saying “I am aware of the jury’s verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, and under our constitutional system, we must respect the jury’s decision. However, no one should ever take the law into their own hands, or attempt to make themselves the judge, jury, and executioner. What Kyle Rittenhouse did was reckless, dangerous, and showed an utter disregard for human life. My condolences go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of the victims during this difficult time.”
While Governor JB Prtizker made no mention of the jury but he said “Carrying a loaded gun into a community 20 miles from your home and shooting unarmed citizens is fundamentally wrong. It’s a tragedy that the court could not acknowledge that basic fact. 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, a father, had their whole lives ahead of them. They deserved to be alive today. They deserve justice. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who loved them. We must do better than this.”