Supporters and opposition voice opinions after verdict — then leave

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Courthouse crowd disperses in hours following Rittenhouse verdict

KENOSHA, Wisc. — There was an eruption of emotion after the verdict came down in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial Friday. 

As the not guilty verdict was announced inside the courtroom emotions rang high and varied outside.

There were those who support Rittenhouse and say they’re satisfied with the verdict.  Some even called him a hero. They say he shot and killed those men out of self-defense. 

Justin Pearson was among them.

“It’s a big win for our country,” he said. “It should have never happened but at the same time people need to stop destroying cities. There’s a way to protest and we need to do it peacefully.” 

Others were upset about the verdict and say Rittenhouse got away with murder.

Tanya McLean said she was upset at the outcome.

“It’s anti-community, anti-black, anti-brown,” she said. “And they’re packaging it, ‘I’m American.’ This is not American. This absolutely not American.” 

Johnathon McClellan of the Minnesota Justice Coalition is hoping the federal government will file charges against Rittenhouse.

He’s also asking Wisconsin’s Attorney General to recharge Rittenhouse with underage possession of a firearm.

“We don’t want a handout,” he said. “We want your boot off our necks. We want a fair shot and that includes in the court.”

And still others were outside the courthouse because they said they were concerned about possible violence following the verdict.

Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, whose police-involved shooting sparked the protests in Kenosha, was among those awaiting the verdict.

“A 17-year-old can illegally carry a firearm, murder two people and go home,” he said. “So how can any citizen in this city, county or state feel safe with African American children of those who support justice for all.” 

Late Friday, a small crowd seeking healing and hope for the city of Kenosha gathered outside of a church.

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