‘I’ve never been more afraid for my community,’ Kenosha reporter says after Rittenhouse ruling
PBS, 20 Nov 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse being found not guilty of murder for shooting and killing two shootings that took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have left many members of the community there hurting and unsure of what comes next, local reporter and host of the "Kyle Rittenhouse Trial" podcast, Troy McDonald said.
"I've never been more afraid for my community. I'm hurting because my fellow friends who no matter what the verdict are hurting," said McDonald during a Nov. 19 conversation with PBS NewsHour's Nicole Ellis.
Rittenhouse successfully plead self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice in the U.S.
He was charged with homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in the summer of 2020 during a tumultuous night of protests over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.
Pivotal to Rittenhouse's defense was his testifying in his own defense on the stand during the trial. McDonald believed that Rittenhouse's "whiteness" helped the jury believe his innocence, but he hoped it had larger lessons for Kenosha where Black residents were often marginalized.
"They saw the humanity in Rittenhouse on the stand," said McDonald. "My hope is that we can start to see the humanity in each other. See the humanity in us, see the humanity in our fellow neighbors."
"I've never been more afraid that we may not reach that peak in Kenosha after this verdict."
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