rittenhouse trial

Protesters Hold City Heights March Condemning Rittenhouse Acquittal

Nearly 100 people gathered at the intersection of Fairmount and University Avenues in City Heights late Saturday afternoon to condemn Rittenhouse’s acquittal, with some calling Friday's 'not guilty' verdict symbolic of a broken justice system they said they still have faith they can fix.

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Emotions remain high one day after a jury found 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, after he shot and killed two men and injured a third with an AR-style automatic weapon during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer in the wake of the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.

Since the verdict was read, protests have erupted in cities across the country, including San Diego.

Nearly 100 people gathered at the intersection of Fairmount and University Avenues in City Heights late Saturday afternoon to condemn Rittenhouse’s acquittal, with some calling the verdict symbolic of a broken justice system they still have faith they can fix.

San Diego’s Party for Socialism and Liberation organized the demonstration and march that participant Jose Cortes called “a step in the right direction.”

“Our fight does speak to the root of the problem and Kyle Rittenhouse is symbolic of that problem,” he said. “This system cannot provide us justice. We’re angry at a system that does not seem to budge, change, adjust or evolve, regardless of who is in office. The only thing that's going to save our people is coming together.”

Gretchen Walker was part of the march and told NBC 7 she wasn’t surprised by the verdict, adding that she thinks it gives a green light to people bringing weapons to protests with the intention to harm demonstrators.

“I’m scared of standing up at this protest right now because who knows what's going to happen? Who knows who's going to show up and say that they don't like what's going on,” she said. “They're going to shoot at us…people are going to get to do whatever they want from here on out…It's just not the same. The consequences aren't the same on both ends of the stick.”

The Rittenhouse trial sparked a wave of media attention and has left the nation divided, with debates ranging over gun laws, self-defense, the justice system, and vigilantism.

People marching Saturday night said they don’t think justice was served, while others say Friday’s decision was an example of how the justice system should work.

“They failed to convince the jury and provide evidence necessary to prove Rittenhouse provoked the attack so the jury 100% got it right in this case,” said Campus Safety Alliance’s Morgan Ballis.

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