Rittenhouse trial protests turn violent at Kenosha County courthouse
Rittenhouse protesters taken into custody as tensions outside Kenosha courthouse reach fever pitch.
KENOSHA, Wis. – Law enforcement agencies in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have said they are monitoring the situation surrounding an impending verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, with jury deliberations entering their fourth day on Friday.
Officers and deputies from the local police and sheriff’s departments can be seen positioned around the Kenosha County Courthouse, where dozens of protesters have gathered each day.
On Wednesday, tensions between opposing groups rose to the point where police swarmed the front of the building and ultimately arrested two people, including one man for battery and disorderly conduct, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said.
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BLM protesters and Kyle Rittenhouse supporters continue to demonstrate outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse on the third day in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on November 18, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images))
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Kenosha Police arrest Anthony Chacon, 20, who is in favor of conviction in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse while the jury deliberates the Kyle Rittenhouse trial on November 17, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
The police and sheriff’s departments have been releasing joint statements regarding their plans surrounding the trial. The agencies have said they are continuing to monitor the situation and are coordinating with other law enforcement accordingly.
On Tuesday, they said they “understand and recognize the anxiety surrounding the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.”
“Our departments have worked together and made coordinated efforts over the last year to improve response capabilities to large scale events. We have also strengthened our existing relationships with State and Federal resources,” the statement reads. “At this time, we have no reason to facilitate road closures, enact curfews or ask our communities to modify their daily routines.”
The statement also notes that both agencies are working with community leaders.
Rittenhouse, 18, faces up to life in prison if convicted on the most serious counts. Charges against him stem from the night of Aug. 25, 2020, when he fatally shot two men — Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, — and wounded a third, Gaige Grosskreutz, during a night of riots in Kenosha.
His defense attorneys have repeatedly argued that he was acting in self-defense. Prosecutors have depicted Rittenhouse as instigating the attacks.
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Police take security measures as BLM protesters and Kyle Rittenhouse supporters are gathered outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse awaiting verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States on November 16, 2021. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Police take security measures as BLM protesters and Kyle Rittenhouse supporters are gathered outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse awaiting verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States on November 16, 2021. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images))
Meanwhile, late last week, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized about 500 Wisconsin Army National Guard troops to report for active due to ensure the safety of the public.
The National Guard joins “hundreds of officers from volunteering law enforcement agencies” in doing so, Evers’ office said in a Friday press release. The troops are standing by approximately an hour away from Kenosha in Waukesha County, Fox News has learned.
The Wisconsin National Guard told Fox News its staging locations are chosen “for a wide variety of reasons ranging from distance, response time, access to major travel corridors, capacity to handle the number of troops mobilized, the ability to respond to multiple locations, if needed, and more.”
Evers called for peace on Tuesday morning, writing in a tweet that Kenoshans “have worked hard to heal and rebuild together over the past year.”
“Any efforts to sow division and hinder that healing are unwelcome in Kenosha and Wisconsin,” he wrote. “Regardless of the outcome in this case, I urge peace in Kenosha and across our state.”
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