Amid speculation that Kyle Rittenhouse could be acquitted of the most serious charges against him, Chicago appears to be bracing for riots that could accompany such a verdict.
Rittenhouse faces six charges, including two counts of first-degree homicide, in the shootings of three men, two fatally, last August amid rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The 18-year-old from Antioch, Illinois has said he acted in self-defense.
The conduct of Judge Bruce Schroeder has raised the hackles of the family of Jacob Blake, whose police shooting last year triggered the rioting that drew Rittenhouse to Kenosha, according to The Washington Post.
“It seems like he’s aiming to let this man out of this courthouse scot-free, and we’re not going to let that happen,” said Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle. “If it happens, we’re not going to be quiet about it.”
Just waiting for the moment police put up barriers when Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty verdict is about to come
Then people defend any rioting as “expressing their anger blah blah blah”
— Gn-etic (@Grntxt1) October 26, 2021
With comments like that floating around, the Chicago Police Department has canceled regularly scheduled days off starting Friday, according to an internal memo leaked to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“All RDO [regular days off] personnel will be attired in the prescribed regulation field uniform of the day, including helmet, baton and yellow safety vest,” said the memo, dispatched by a sergeant on behalf of First Deputy Police Supt. Eric Carter, according to the report.
The memo did not link the cancellation of days off to the trial, but John Catanzara, president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, indicated that was the reason as he said the city was violating its agreement with the union.
“There was no notice. They do not get to just keep saying, ‘We need manpower just in case a verdict doesn’t go positive’ and, all the sudden, there’s upheaval,” Catanzara said, according to the Sun-Times.
“You didn’t think it could get any worse for the prosecution, but it actually did…” pic.twitter.com/DtSfqlYLO8
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) November 10, 2021
“Flawed media depictions of the prosecution’s case as some kind of slam dunk combined with the already heated rhetoric smearing Rittenhouse mean that an acquittal could cause leftists to again react violently as they often threaten and sometimes do in the wake of outcomes they didn’t want,” he wrote.
Brown touched on the possibility of rioting.
“It’s almost as if media outlets and leftist personalities are trying to induce or at least prepare individuals to riot again. An honest objective viewing of both the law involved and the case at hand suggest that a guilty verdict is not likely,” he wrote.
The Rittenhouse prosecution ethically should not even proceed to verdict.
The ONLY reason they are is that this is, literally, a politically charged trial.
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) November 11, 2021
On Wednesday, Fox News commentator Jeanine Pirro denounced the trial as “the politicization of the criminal justice system.”
“This is a case where clearly self-defense is something that will exonerate Kyle Rittenhouse and whether this case goes to the jury or whether the judge dismisses some of the charges on his own or whether the judge grants a mistrial, this young man will be acquitted and exonerated,” she said.
“What you had was a rush to judgment in August of 2020. We are in the post-George Floyd world. Jacob Blake had just been shot. Everybody wanted to make sure that, you know, that everyone was prosecuted. This kid was prosecuted when the evidence was clear that he was defending himself,” Pirro said.
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