Bay Area reacts to outcome of Kyle Rittenhouse verdict

A group of more than 100 gathered in downtown Oakland Friday evening to protest in response to the verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges after testifying 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.

For many Black Americans, Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal confirmed their belief in two justice systems: one for white people and another for Black people.

Rittenhouse, the two men he killed and the man he wounded were all white, but the case has been linked from the start to issues of race and the criminal justice system.

The Oakland protest, which began just after 6 p.m., is taking place downtown at Frank Ogawa Plaza, adjacent to City Hall.

Rally organizers said they want the U.S. Department of Justice to take a look at the Rittenhouse case.

Demonstrators are planning to march to the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse two blocks away. 

Activists have previously pointed to differences in how police handled Rittenhouse’s case and that of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot by a white Kenosha police officer in August 2020, sparking protests in the city that became destructive and violent.

Bay City News contributed to this story.