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Dozens gather in Grand Rapids to protest Kyle Rittenhouse verdict

Posted at 10:22 PM, Nov 20, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Protesters showed their outrage Saturday night about the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

This week, Rittenhouse was found not guilty after killing two white men and injured another at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha in 2020.

READ MORE: Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty on all charges in homicide case

In downtown Grand Rapids, 50 protesters gathered outside of Rosa Parks Circle on Breonna Taylor Way to voice their disappointment.

"I couldn't believe it because it seemed obvious to me the verdict should be 'guilty,'" Moms Demand Action: Grand Rapids volunteer Jane Whittington said.

The jury agreed in the defense's case that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.

"They were out to support Black Lives Matter and he shot both of them. He said it was self-defense. I question that," Whittington said.

Justice for Black Lives Research and Developer Shane Perdue had a lot to say about the case.

"Our justice system has failed us yet again. BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), when they walk down the streets, we can be assaulted and arrested, charged and beaten. We've been beaten on this very corner for existing and being Black. So, it doesn't matter what you carry. Your skin color is always there; you are going to be seen as some form of thug or misconstrued as a hoodlum for just existing," Perdue said.

The protesters marched around a few blocks downtown, three of them carrying guns by their sides, but remained peaceful.

"I don't know who they are or what side they are on, but I don't see any reason for them to be armed," Whittington said.

Despite some tension, at one point, one person walked away with the idea of progress.

"Putting people in other people's shoes and having empathy is the most important skill anybody should have, and I think if we can start there and people could imagine how they would feel, I think that would be a start," Jennie Hartftein said.

The Grand Rapids Police Department says two arrests were made for reasons unrelated to the protest.

RELATED: Hundreds protest Rittenhouse acquittal across US

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