A jury has been deliberating Tuesday regarding the fate of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Even as they did so, protesters outside the courthouse were attempting to threaten them into reaching a desired verdict.
According to ABC News, Rittenhouse is facing five charges, including first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide.
If he is charged on all five counts, Rittenhouse could face life in prison. His defense team argued throughout the trial that he acted in self-defense because he was being attacked when he killed two men and wounded one.
Both the defense and the prosecution have made their closing arguments, which puts the burden on the jury to decide Rittenhouse’s fate. But leftists outside the courthouse were threatening that ability.
KENOSHA ON EDGE: Tempers flare among demonstrators as Rittenhouse jury deliberates pic.twitter.com/QdQUDEahW5
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 16, 2021
To be clear, there is nothing inherently wrong with peacefully protesting, and that can even include some heated arguments. Some of the protests, however, devolved into threats.
In one Twitter video, people can be heard chanting, “If Kenosha don’t get it, shut it down!” The chant was led by a man in a Black Lives Matter hoodie.
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) November 16, 2021
The man also chants about someone receiving “seven shots in the back” in an apparent reference to the police shooting of Jacob Blake. In October, the U.S. Justice Department cleared the officer who shot an armed Blake of any charges, Reuters reported.
While it is not clear exactly what the protesters mean by “shut it down,” it is impossible not to think about the actions of BLM rioters after Blake’s death in August 2020.
Looting, arson and other violence caused over $50 million in damage to the city, according to Fox News. Images from the riots showed the devastating effects on the community.
Is everyone who started the riots and fires in Kenosha paying for their crimes? pic.twitter.com/QAovGsn4bq
— Freedom (@m196538410077) November 13, 2021
President @realDonaldTrump traveled to Kenosha, WI today to survey property damaged in the recent violent riots, meet with local residents who were affected, tour the Emergency Operations Center, and participate in a roundtable on community safety.
— The White House 45 Archived (@WhiteHouse45) September 2, 2020
If “shutting it down” refers to anything similar to those riots, jurors have reason to be concerned.
Threats of riots, arson and other crimes from outside forces have increasingly played a role in American court cases. This is partly thanks to Democrats who have failed to condemn such tactics.
During the trial of Derek Chauvin, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California told protesters to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin were not found guilty. This was undoubtedly a message to jurors that they would face violence if they acquitted Chauvin.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to BLM protesters in Brooklyn Center, MN:
“[Protestors] got to stay on the street and get more active, more confrontational. They’ve got to know that we mean business.” pic.twitter.com/GLIPoLwZnd
— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) April 18, 2021
Mob justice should have no place in America, but comments like this only fuel it. As another trial with racial undertones nears a verdict, we can only hope and pray similar threats do not influence the outcome.