By Ali Bauman

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were protests in New York City on Friday in response to the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

The 18-year-old was found not guilty in the deaths of two men during a night of violent protests in Wisconsin in 2020.

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Hundreds of people marched through Brooklyn, carrying signs and chanting as they marched from the Barclays Center to the Brooklyn Bridge, where they blocked traffic lanes.

Watch Chopper 2 over the protests —

 

The group remained peaceful. There have been no reports of arrests.

Many told CBS2’s Ali Bauman they were disappointed but not surprised by the verdict.

Protesters started gathering outside the Barclays Center around 7 p.m., listening to speeches before beginning to march through Downtown Brooklyn and onto the Brooklyn Bridge. They stayed there in defiance before eventually continuing to Manhattan.

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They say they are standing in solidarity with Kenosha, angered by the Rittenhouse verdict and calling his acquittal a double standard and a failure of the justice system.

“The message, basically, is that when you stand up for Black liberation, when you stand up for Black lives, no matter who you are, you automatically become a target of the system,” protester Na-Lakan Masego said.

“It just shows how bad we are in this country with just this one verdict that I think most of us were expecting,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.

“This sets a scary precedent, you know, and I’m not, I’m not sure what to do as, like, a regular person so I just made this sign,” protester Phoebe Helander said.

“The issue of what constitutes self-defense and what doesn’t, but it also depends who has a gun and it also depends what they’re actually fighting for, and it seems that if you’re trying to say something about Black Lives Matter or something about justice and equity, it doesn’t have the same weight,” Williams said.

Demonstrators who spoke to CBS2 reiterated they wanted to keep the demonstrations peaceful.

One protester said they hope people who see the protest use it as an opportunity for self-reflection.

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Editor’s note: This story was first published Nov. 19.

Ali Bauman