It’s an insult: Jacob Blake's family slams Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal
- Kyle Rittenhouse on Friday was acquitted of all the charges
- He was charged in the killing of two men and wounding a third
- "This is why African Americans say the whole damn system is guilty," Jacob Blake's uncle said
As the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was being announced, outside the Kenosha County court, the family of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot by a white police officer last year, was gathered in support of the family members of the three men Rittenhouse shot.
Following the verdict, Justin Blake, Jacob's uncle said, "I don’t know how they came to the final conclusion that he’s innocent, but this is why African Americans say the whole damn system is guilty," the Washington Post reported.
"This must end. We are here to support Anthony and Jojo and Gaige, and that’s what we’re doing to continue to do," he further added.
Moments after the verdict, Blake alleged Rittenhouse was the second White person to escape charges for a shooting in Kenosha, referring to police officer Rusten Sheskey, who faced no charges for shooting Blake’s nephew.
Following the shooting of Jacob Blake, protests and unrest erupted in the town last year. Rittenhouse, then aged 17, went from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha after businesses in the city were ransacked and burned.
Carrying a weapon that authorities said was illegally purchased for the underage Rittenhouse, he joined other armed citizens in what he said was an effort to protect property and provide medical aid.
Bystander and drone video captured most of the frenzied chain of events that followed: Rittenhouse killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, then shot to death protester Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded demonstrator Gaige Grosskreutz, now 28. Yet, on Friday, Blake was acquitted of all charges as the teenager pleaded self-defence.
Meanwhile, Blake likened Kenosha to a Jim Crow-era sundown town. "It’s an insult," he said, the Post reported. While Blake and others spoke, criticising the verdict, Rittenhouse supporters tried to drown him out.
"He deserves his freedom!" a man shouted. The man, one of the regular protesters throughout the past few days of deliberation, said the only people who were guilty were the other Americans who didn’t follow Rittenhouse’s lead and take up arms in the street.