Following the full acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse — an 18-year-old who shot and killed two men and wounded another in Kenosha, Wis. during a protest against police brutality and white supremacy last year — at least two groups were planning demonstrations in downtown Los Angeles Friday.
Members of the Coalition for Community Control over the Police will hold a demonstration at 3 p.m. at the corner of Florence and Normandie calling for “Death to white supremacy.”
Local clergy and activists from Revolution Club Los Angeles plan to hold a press conference on the steps of LA City Hall at 5 p.m. Calling the full acquittal a “total green light for fascist terror and violence,” the group says the situation demands action. “This paves the way for something even more monstrous than the business-as-usual of this murderous white supremacist system, a much more severely repressive and openly white supremacist society,” a spokesperson for Revolution Club LA wrote on Facebook.
After three days of deliberation, Rittenhouse was found not guilty of five felony counts, including first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Rittenhouse was 17 when he travelled to Kenosha from his home in Illinois with a semi-automatic rifle and fired on demonstrators, killing 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber, and seriously wounding 27-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz.
During the trial, Rittenhouse said he acted in self-defense. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I defended myself,” he said during testimony. His lawyers claimed demonstrators chased and threatened Rittenhouse and tried to grab his gun.
Prosecutors portrayed Rittenhouse as someone who inserted himself into a volatile situation and called him an “active shooter.”
“You lose the right to self-defense when you’re the one who brought the gun, when you are the one creating the danger, when you’re the one provoking other people,” Deputy District Attorney Thomas Binger said during closing arguments Monday.
Huber’s parents released a statement saying there was “no justice” for their son or the other victims, according to reports from NBC News.
“Today’s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son,” Karen Bloom and John Huber said. “It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.”