Rittenhouse acquittal protested in Albuquerque

Protests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People in Albuquerque are protesting the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. He killed two people and injured another during a protest in Wisconsin after a white officer shot a black man last year.


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It was an emotional day for groups like the Albuquerque Center for Peace and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. They protested peacefully near Old Town for hours Saturday. 

One protester, Cynthia Rodriguez, shares, “It’s angering, it’s upsetting and so we’re coming out here today to talk about that and show people you know, it’s not right and we have to continue to fight against that.” This, a day after a Wisconsin jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty in the deadly shooting of two men during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.

Officials say the 17-year-old at the time brought an AR-style rifle to a protest saying he was protecting a stranger’s property. The defense argued Rittenhouse fired because he felt threatened.

Bex Hampton is an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation. “The government is responsible for this acquittal and for allowing him to walk free this is not a justice system it’s an injustice system,” she says.

Local groups are saying this verdict shows the legal system failed to protect communities from violence fueled by racism. Jurors ultimately had to decide whether the case against the armed, Illinois teenager amounted to self-defense or vigilantism. 

A handful of speakers called out the criminal justice system, saying it’s broken. Others share why this verdict motivated them to come out and protest. Sierra Rose Standing Cloud Tyrrell shared, “Being Indigenous and being a colored woman here in Albuquerque, and our nation honestly, I feel like a little…almost attacked that white men can go out there and do that and he has no repercussions.” 

Protesters in Albuquerque say they also want to bring attention to the local Steven Baca case. Hampton expresses, “We do not want to see him acquitted like Kyle Rittenhouse was yesterday.”

Baca will go to trial on charges of shooting and critically injuring a protester who was calling for the removal of the Juan de Oñate statue outside the Albuquerque Museum in June 2020. “We definitely want to get people out here and show them mass demonstration is the best way to put people in power’s feet to the fire to actually make them do the right thing,” says Rodriguez. 

At last check, no trial date has been set in the Baca case. Baca has pleaded not guilty to shooting the protester. The Rittenhouse verdict has sparked several protests in cities across the country. 

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