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5 takeaways from Day 1 of Rittenhouse trial

by staff

A few groups of demonstrators gathered peacefully outside the stately courthouse the first day of the trial. Among the small crowd was Justin Blake, whose nephew Jacob Blake’s shooting by a Kenosha police officer in August 2020 sparked the unrest. Toting a unity flag, Justin Blake said he came to support the slain men’s families. Community activist Porche Bennett-Bey also spoke out from the courthouse steps against the judge’s decision banning prosecutors from referring to the men Rittenhouse shot as “victims.” The defense, however, will be allowed to call them “rioters, looters and arsonists” if they present evidence supporting the claim. “They were killed,” Bennett-Bey said. “They’re victims. I don’t care how anybody puts it.” A few demonstrators said they support Rittenhouse. One of them, a woman, was holding an anti-Black Lives Matter sign that Bennett-Bey later tore up.

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