Nearly 100 people in Oakland protest against not guilty verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse trial

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Saturday, November 20, 2021
Oakland protesters denounce Rittenhouse non-guilty verdicts
Friday night nearly 100 people took to the streets of Oakland responding to the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Friday night nearly 100 people took to the streets of Oakland responding to the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

"Revolution nothing else," shouted the crowd as they marched from Oakland's city Hall to the Federal building.

They called the two white men Rittenhouse shot and killed during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha last year, heroes. Activists categorized the verdict an emergency call to action.

RELATED: 'Punch in the gut': Bay Area feels impact of Kyle Rittenhouse not-guilty verdicts

"This verdict, like she said is a green light to any coward, every want to-be white supremacist vigilante," said an activist.

This not-guilty verdict resonates deeply with the Black community.

In 2020, Oakland resident, Xavier Brown and his friend Akil Riley mobilized 15,000 people to march against police violence in the killing of George Floyd. Tonight he responded to the Rittenhouse's trial.

"I'm going to be completely real. I was furious. I was so furious," said Brown, and added, "I just couldn't believe how blatant like the racism is and how blatant is ingrained into our system."

RELATED: Kyle Rittenhouse verdict: Teen found not guilty on all charges in Kenosha shootings

Rittenhouse's attorney argued he feared for his life and acted in self-defense. UC Hastings Law Professor Rory Little said the jury needed to answer one question.

"The jury was told to simply focus on the moment's right before and when there was a shooting. There wasn't any doubt that he shot these folks. So, the jury was simply asked: "Do you find that he was justified in self-defense or do you find that the government hasn't prove beyond reasonable doubt that he wasn't justified in that moment," said Professor Little.

There was one Black juror in the jury. Tonight activists are pointing to racism.

RELATED: What charges does Kyle Rittenhouse face? Homicide counts, lesser charges explained

"I definitely think that he is found 'not guilty' because of the color of his skin, but it's also because we live in a country where since day one this country was founded on racism," said Brown.

Professor Little said there's racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

"I don't think there is any doubt that there is racial disparity in the criminal justice system. I don't think that there is any doubt that it's a disproportionate result where African Americans are convicted far more often than white Americans in various circumstances," said Little and added, "What would've happened if he was Black and the same exact situation would've happened? I don't know."

Professor Litte said there could be a civil lawsuit filed in this case.