LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Friday afternoon, a mostly white jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges, after he shot three people, killing two of them during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse and his attorneys said he fired in self-defense.
The protest was in response to a white officer shooting Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back several times.
"It didn't begin or end in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It has to continue here in Louisville Kentucky," State Representative Attica Scott said, standing outside the Hall of Justice in downtown Louisville.
She was one of several speakers at a "Reject the Verdict" rally on Saturday hosted by Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice (LSURJ).
"This moment is another example of how the criminal legal system does not build safety and it cannot save us from white supremacists violence," LSURJ leader Carla F Wallace said.
Mayoral Candidate Shameka Parrish Wright described when she first heard the verdict, "I laid in my bed and I cried."
A listener in the crowd, Israel McCullough said the verdict reaffirmed a distrust he had in the judicial system.
"It just shows you that we are in a tale of two different systems," he said, explaining that white and black people see different outcomes.
"It's critical that white people recommit to organizing our own white communities against racism," LSURJ leader Anice Chenault added. "Rittenhouse comes from the white community. We have to step into our responsibility to organize our own people towards a better world, one that includes racial justice."
LSURJ is a part of the national SURJ network which has over 175 chapters around the country. It focuses on bringing more white people into racial justice movements.