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Activist Justin Blake says he is 'undeterred' by verdict, will continue protests for justice

Posted at 7:21 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 23:05:31-05

KENOSHA  — Activist Justin Blake said he's undeterred by the not-guilty verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, and he plans to keep protesting in Kenosha.

"This isn’t a wake for the two brothers that we just lost, or Gaige or Little Jake. This is a birthplace of what’s getting ready to happen," said Blake.

At a gathering a few blocks from the courthouse on Friday, Blake and other activists spoke to others upset the trial did not end in a conviction.

He said that from as early as Sunday he'll be organizing protests in Kenosha to keep what he calls an "injustice" in the spotlight.

“A lot of evidence was withheld and I believe had they been able to review it all in its entirety, they would have came up with this kid as guilty as hell," said Blake on the steps of the Kenosha County Courthouse.

Moments before, he and others stood quietly and listened to a live stream of the trial on a smartphone as the jury read the non-guilty verdict.

Blake is the uncle of Jacob Blake, a Black man from Kenosha who was shot seven times in the back by police last year.

It was the shooting of Jacob Blake that sparked protests in Kenosha, protests that eventually drew Rittenhouse to the community on the lake where he shot and killed two men and injured a third. Rittenhouse said he acted in self-defense.

Before Friday's verdict, Blake protested on the courthouse steps every day of the trial, demanding justice for Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, the men Rittenhouse killed.

Blake has also continued to demand justice for his nephew, Jacob, who is now paralyzed after last year's encounter with the police.

The officer who shot Jacob Blake, Rusten Shesky, was not charged and has returned to work at the Kenosha Police Department.

“We want everybody to take a breath, say some prayers, eat right, check your mental health and put your boots on and get ready to go,” said Blake.

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