Kenosha law enforcement prepares for verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse trial
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58)-- State leaders are asking for a peaceful reaction when the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial does come down.
Kenosha law enforcement said they're ready to respond however needed. They've been monitoring the situation, and said there isn't need for tighter security measures at this time.
"To date, we have no reason to facilitate road closures, enact curfews or ask our communities to modify their daily routines," the Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha Sheriff's Office said in a joint statement.
Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha Sheriff's Office said they're working with state and federal resources to improve their response capabilities for large-scale events.
"It's vital that the city of Kenosha be safe following the announcement of the verdict," Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said. "People of Kenosha have been through an enormous amount over the last year, and however the verdict comes out, I encourage people to respond peacefully, and it's critical that there is no violence or destruction in Kenosha."
There are approximately 500 National Guard troops staged nearby.
Many protesters were outside the Kenosha County courthouse Tuesday. Kyle Rittenhouse's supporters continue to say he acted in self-defense.
"Where does the responsibility lie on the person who chased him? As a responsible person, I don't go chasing people, with guns or without guns."
On the other side of the fence, others are hoping for a guilty verdict.
"This young man should have not been in the streets with that gun, he didn’t know how to handle it, it was illegal at the time, what happened was tragic. This man up here frying on a bench, save that for when you’re in jail," Justin Blake said. Blake is Jacob's uncle.
The question that both sides can't agree on is Rittenhouse's reason for being in Kenosha Aug. 25, 2021.
Dave Graham came to Kenosha all the way from Ohio. He says he's not on either side. He just wants peace and healing.
"I didn't come here for that at all, I have strong feelings but that doesn’t matter, what matters is the truth and peace," Graham said.
Local organizations held a mini press conference outside the courthouse.
"As we wait for the pending verdict of the Rittenhouse trial, we as Kenosha activists call for peace as we always have, we vow to continue to prioritize the safety of our community. We denounce those who feel bold by the murders of Anthony and JoJo to threaten, hurt and kill us," Tanya McLean said. She is a member of the Leaders of Kenosha.
"The jury has a heavy lift, but that's what democracy is all about, that's what justice is all about, and this case means a lot to us around the country, particularly Black and brown people. We want equal protection under the law," Tavis Grant said. He is the national field director for Rainbow Push Coalition.