Today our country witnessed another miscarriage of justice, as Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges after shooting three protesters, two of whom died. Rittenhouse crossed state borders with an assault rifle looking to cause harm. His acquittal confirms the white supremacy that still thrives in this country and the failure of police to protect all protesters.
The result of his trial sets a dangerous precedent, as an armed militia member was allowed to kill innocent protesters without any repercussions. Today’s acquittal is a direct threat to the right of communities of color to protest. The outcome gives a grim forecast of how dangerous, even fatal, future protests could become for those who are not seen as worthy of protection by the police– making them an easy target for the armed militia who, by contrast, are allowed to roam the protests freely. This is especially true in Portland, where white nationalists regularly come into our city with the protection of the police to threaten protesters and disrupt our community.