KENOSHA — As the sun set on day one of jury deliberation inside the courtroom, supporters of Kyle Rittenhouse and people who want to see him found guilty have been outside the Kenosha County Courthouse. The mood was sometimes tense, but also leading to bigger conversations.
On Monday, the first day of jury deliberations, dozens of people gathered on the steps outside the court. People from all walks of life came to Kenosha to express their opinions, at times tempers flaring between a man with his dog and someone on the opposing side.
For Emily Cahill and Jamarcus Blaze, they were front and center, engaging in conversations about the evidence shown inside the courtroom.
"I was out here the first night and they wanted to kill me over an opposing sign. I knew what he was going through," Cahill said. "I'm trying to understand why you think self-defense is a skateboard and a plastic bag," Blaze said.
They also spoke about Gaige Grosskreutz and whether or not he pointed his gun.
"Gaige already had his gun out," Cahill stated. "No he did not," Blaze responded.
Despite the tension, the protests appears to have been largely peaceful.
"I think that, you know, the most, the most raucous, is what you got here right now," said a man named Mick, who said he was there to make sure everyone stayed safe. "The people in the city ain't biting on this."
Unlike last year, that is, when much larger crowds marched and protested across city blocks following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
It was during one night of unrest in August 2020 that Rittenhouse shot and killed two men and injured another.
"Well, I watched the whole trial, and I don't have a dog in the fight. I'm not from here. I think the evidence is pretty clear. Self-defense," said Richard Wilbur on the steps of the courthouse.
Others think Rittenhouse deserves to go to prison.
"The way he showed up looking for trouble, which is very apparent especially in the day leading up to the shooting," said a demonstrator named Jess who was marching near the courthouse.
In addtion to the Rittenhouse verdict, race and politics were also being hotly discussed.
"White supremacy is anti-American," yelled a woman. In response, a man yelled, "black supremacy is anti-American."
Beyond these deeper conversations, other people gathered to vent and get some form of closure.
However, regardless of the divide of opinions, it all comes down to what the 12 jurors decide justice will be.
The steps of the courthouse cleared out quickly after the demonstrators learned that the jury had gone home for the day and there would be no verdict on day one.