Hundreds protest ruling of Rittenhouse trial across the United States
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Protests erupted in New York and other cities across the United States Friday night in response to Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal, leading to the arrests of at least five people and the destruction of some property in Queens, according to the New York Police Department.
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Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, was acquitted Friday by a jury of all charges related to the fatal shooting of two men and wounding a third during last year’s rowdy racial justice protests in Wisconsin that caused the teen to act in self-defence, the New York Post reported. .
Hundreds of people responded to the ruling across the country by marching in the streets, holding banners and chanting as traffic lanes were closed.
The New York Police on Twitter posted a photo of vandalized vehicles in Queens, including a vehicle with disabled plates with black spray paint graffiti on the back.
“The NYPD takes its responsibility to protect the First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters very seriously,” the tweet read. “Equally important is the safety of NYers and the protection of property from people who break the law in the name of protest. As we saw tonight in Queens, they will be arrested.”
Law enforcement sources said five people were arrested for allegedly damaging cars and homes in the middle village.
Queens Councilman Robert Holden told The Post that protesters tore down Crowley Park, and were also “jumping cars and stealing American flags” in residential streets in Middle Village and Masbeth.
About 300 protesters also gathered outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where the Nets played the Orlando Magic on Friday night, denouncing the non-conviction verdict as a shameful racial double standard in the justice system.
Some carried banners reading “There is no justice in capitalist courts” and “Capitalism breeds racial terrorism.”
The group walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and into lower Manhattan, before they dispersed.
Meanwhile, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, dozens of protesters gathered outside the courtroom where Rittenhouse was acquitted, hours after the decision was announced.
Tensions escalated dramatically in Portland, Oregon, where riots were declared after a group of about 200 protesters began throwing objects at police officers and damaging city buildings, police officers said.
Protesters in Portland angered passing cars, smashed windows, and damaged the doors of a number of nearby buildings. Some of the crowd reportedly called for the city’s Justice Center to be burned.
The police department declared a riot after a “violent and destructive” group attempted to breach the gates of the Multnomah County Detention Center. However, they failed to enter and were later dispersed.
One person was arrested following the disturbances, and the police posted a picture of the smashed rear window of one of its cars as part of its efforts to identify the culprit.
Other protests took place in Chicago, where people gathered in the city’s streets to protest the ruling in a peaceful 90-minute march, local media reported. The Chicago Police Department has canceled several officers’ leave days in anticipation of any disturbances in response to the ruling, according to WGN.
Dozens of activists also gathered to protest Friday’s acquittal of Kenosha’s court on all five charges in front of the District Court in Washington, D.C. Friday night.