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Dozens rally in Downtown Jacksonville to protest Rittenhouse verdict

18-year-old found not guilty in murder trial in Kenosha shootings

Dozens gathered by the Federal courthouse in downtown Jacksonville to protest the Rittenhouse verdict. The Jacksonville Community Action Committee is calling on the Department of Justice to step in and not let Rittenhouse roam free.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The not guilty verdict in the murder trial of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse sent shockwaves throughout the U.S. with no shortage of strong opinions in the verdict’s wake.

Those opinions even rippled down to Northeast Florida, where dozens of community activists gathered in Downtown Jacksonville on Saturday, calling on the Department of Justice to do something and not let Rittenhouse roam free.

Rittenhouse testified he acted in self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice in the U.S.

About 50 people were outside the federal courthouse in Jacksonville on Saturday, calling for change in this country. They said if Rittenhouse were a Black male, he wouldn’t have had the same outcome.

“It’s disgusting,” said Christina Kittle with the Jacksonville Community Action Committee. “We all saw the kid go into the protest with the weapon. I don’t know how he could claim he felt unsafe when he traveled in there with weapons.”

Rittenhouse testified he acted in self defense after killing two men and injuring a third at a protest against police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.

State Rep. Angie Nixon also attended Saturday’s rally in Jacksonville.

“I feel disappointment, fear because vigilantism prevailed in the Rittenhouse trial,” Nixon said. “I’m worried vigilantism will prevail in the Arbery trial.”

Nixon was referring to the trial of three white Glynn County men charged with the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot and killed in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in February 2020.

About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.