Ahead of a jury verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, striking photographs and videos of protesters and demonstrators outside the courthouse have emerged.
The case has become the latest microcosm of racial and ideological tension, and the verdict is guaranteed to set people off.
Jury deliberations continued Wednesday in the trial of Rittenhouse, who is accused of killing two men and wounding another during riots in Kenosha in August of last year.
- On Monday, the first day of deliberations, Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed jurors in the evening when no verdict was reached.
- Rittenhouse, who claims he acted in self-defense on the night in question and was in Kenosha to protect businesses from rioters, has become a cause celebre on the right and an AR-15-toting bogeymen to the left.
- Conservatives have accused the media of stoking racial tensions with their coverage of the case, and now many observers fear an acquittal will set off a match in Kenosha.
500 National Guard troops were deployed to the Kenosha area Monday, and remain on standby in anticipation of potential unrest stemming from the jury verdict.
Heroes? A protester held a sign labeling the three men – Anthony Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum and Gaige Grosskreutz – shot by Rittenhouse on Aug. 25, 2020 as “selfless heroes.”
All three men had criminal histories.
- Rosenbaum, who was convicted in early 2002 of sexually abusing five boys, chased Rittenhouse into a parking lot and threw a plastic bag at him before being shot.
- Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard and tried to grab his AR-15 rifle before being shot.
- Grosskreutz approached Rittenhouse with a handgun before being shot.
Communists spotted: Members of the Revolutionary Communist Party demonstrated in favor of Rittenhouse’s conviction.
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 17, 2021
The McCloskeys: Patricia and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who sparked a Second Amendment controversy by facing down a group of Black Lives Matters protesters last year, showed up in support of Rittenhouse.
The ideological divide: Pro-Rittenhouse demonstrators who view the case as a gun rights issue clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters who see the 18-year-old teen’s potential acquittal as a sign of white privilege.
Arguments between opposing protesters outside the courthouse – one group describing themselves as 2nd Amendment supporters, others calling for the conviction of Kyle Rittenhouse #Kenosha pic.twitter.com/F2IOOApfEN
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) November 16, 2021
“Let’s Go Brandon” is undefeated: A Rittenhouse supporter flew a “Lets Go Brandon” flag in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse while the jury deliberated.
Heated rhetoric from the left: A protester rode a bicycle carrying several anti-Rittenhouse signs, including one that shows the teen making the “OK” sign, an alleged white supremacist symbol.
Heated rhetoric from the right: A Rittenhouse supporter wore a hat with a message apparently in reference to the criminal record of Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the men shot by Rittenhouse.
There’s a mix of pro and anti-Rittenhouse protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse today as we wait for a verdict.
There’s a few men who are wearing this hat: pic.twitter.com/0Lyss86rXN
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) November 16, 2021
An eerie snapshot: A man wore a “Hello Kenosha” shirt, complete with smiley face and bullet hole.