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News + PoliticsProtestRittenhouse verdict: 'If he were Black he would be going away for...

Rittenhouse verdict: ‘If he were Black he would be going away for life’

Cat Brooks, Justice Teams Network director, responds to the jury in Kenosha


The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict stunned a lot of people around the country—but in some ways, it’s no surprise.

That’s what Cat Brooks, executive director of the Justice Teams Network, told me this afternoon.

Kenosha County Courthouse and Jail. Photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel, (CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Brooks wrote an oped the day before the verdict noting that

Most alarming is that no matter how offensive or anti-Black, none of the actions of the judges, prosecutors, or defendants themselves is outside of American law.

It wasn’t illegal for the judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial to prevent the prosecution from calling the two people Rittenhouse killed, and one he injured, “victims,” while simultaneously granting the defense permission to call those protesting a cop shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back “rioters” and “looters.”

But in the wake of the verdict, she said, “Black folks took a punch in the gut again. The verdict laid bare that courts were built to come down on the side of white supremacy.”

The most alarming thing, she told me, is that white supremacists are watching these trials “to see what they can get away with. If you are white and defending property, you can literally kill with impunity.

“If he were Black and had gone to a MAGA rally with a military assault rifle, he’d be going away for life.”

Protesters will gather in Oakland 6pm at 14th Street and Broadway and are demanding that the federal Justice Department take action on the case. Rittenhouse faced state charges, and possibly could still be charged under federal statutes.

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Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

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