(FiveNation.com)- The jury in the trial against Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t reach a verdict on the first day of deliberations Tuesday, but local authorities are preparing for potential public unrest for when they do.
Last Friday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers activated 500 troops of the state’s National Guard to partner with other local law enforcement offices in what could become an explosive situation.
Expecting at least a sizeable demonstration outside of the courtroom in Kenosha and possibly around the state, Evers said:
“I urge folks who are otherwise not from the area to please respect the community by reconsidering any plans to travel there and encourage those who might choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights to do so safely and peacefully.”
The jury is set to resume deliberations on Wednesday.
Rittenhouse, a teenager from Illinois, is standing trial for wounded one man and fatally shooting two others during a violent night in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.
August 25 of 2020 marked the third straight night of violent protests in the city after a white police officer shot a black man in the back seven times while at close range.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, traveled into Wisconsin from neighboring Illinois, as both his grandmother and father lived there.
He has testified that he traveled to Kenosha with one of his friends to offer medical aid as well as protect a car dealership. He was armed with a semi-automatic rifle that resembled a AR at the time. The friend, identified as Dominic Black, bought it for Rittenhouse, since he wasn’t old enough to buy it for himself.
As the pair arrived at the scene, they quickly became the target of the demonstrators, some of whom lunged at him, threatened him and even pointed guns at him.
Rittenhouse is being accused of fatally shooting 26-year-old Anthony Huber and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum as well as grievously injuring another — Gaige Grosskreutz, who he shot in the arm. All four of the men are white.
The now 18-year-old is facing six criminal counts, which include first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. If Rittenhouse is convicted of that most serious charge, he faces spending life in prison.
Tuesday marked the trial’s 12th day. Closing arguments were held on Monday, with the jury beginning their deliberations Tuesday morning.
The 12 members of the jury held deliberations for approximately eight hours. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the jury didn’t request any additional information for either set of lawyers, though they did want extra copies of the instructions provided to them.
Rittenhouse is only facing state criminal charges in Wisconsin for a number of reasons. First, he didn’t travel across state lines with a gun. He also didn’t interfere with interstate commerce or commit crimes such as robbing a bank that is federally insured.
He’s also not being charged with a hate crime — since all the victims were white and he is white — and isn’t being accused of depriving people of their civil rights as an agent for the government.
If Rittenhouse is acquitted of these state charges, therefore, it’s unlikely he would face any federal charges — even though his case has attracted national attention.