Hundreds of demonstrators marched across New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan on Friday night, blocking traffic as they protested Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal.
The marchers started from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center sports arena around 7 p.m. ET and then crossed the bridge into Manhattan.
At one point, the protesters took a knee and held a moment of silence on the bridge in deference to the two men killed by Rittenhouse last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was confirmed by a Wisconsin jury earlier on Friday that Rittenhouse killed the two men in self defense.
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However, the New York crowd reacted negatively to the verdict of the jury.
“The message, basically, is that when you stand up for Black liberation, when you stand up for Black lives, no matter who you are, you automatically become a target of the system,” protester Na-Lakan Masego told WCBS-TV in New York of Rittenhouse’s acquittal.
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The 18-year-old defendant had faced several felony charges, including intentional homicide, and years in prison, if he was found guilty of fatally shooting two men and wounding a third during Black Lives Matter protests and riots last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Unrest erupted following the shooting and injury of Jacob Blake by police.
Rittenhouse was found innocent of every charge.
“This sets a scary precedent, you know, and I’m not, I’m not sure what to do as, like, a regular person so I just made this sign,” protester Phoebe Helander told the station.
A protest leader told demonstrators who gathered that they needed to stay engaged and come to future protests because Black lives were “still mattering and they’re still going to be shot down.”
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Protests remained peaceful, and there were no reports of arrests.
At least five Queens residents were detained for property damage.
On Twitter, NYPD stated that it takes seriously its obligation to peacefully protesters and protect their 1st Amendment rights. “Just as important is the safety of NYers & the protection of property from people breaking the law in the name of protest. These people will be taken into custody, as they were seen doing tonight in Queens.
Tweeted by the NYPD Photos A smashed windshield, graffiti and a vehicle with the words “F— You”