Mixed reaction in Philadelphia after Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty on all charges

A Temple University professor thinks the verdict sends a message that has a ripple effect beyond the case.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The news of Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal on all charges Friday after killing two protestors in Wisconsin last year spread fast across the country.

The news surprised some people we talked to in Philadelphia.

"That's really surprising," said Brianna Giordano. "I go to Drexel, and we talk about that case. Honestly, I thought that he would be guilty."

Josh Kumar of Voorhes, New Jersey was disappointed by the verdict but not surprised based on his observations of the judge and the attorneys during the trial.

"Still kind of upsetting to see that get confirmed, but it's not unexpected," he said.

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The news of Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal on all charges Friday after killing two protestors in Wisconsin last year spread fast across the country.



Meanwhile, others who have been watching the trial think the jury made the right decision.

"If I was in the same position, I think I would've done the same thing, because he was in threat of his life," said Noam Nisimi of Northern Liberties.

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Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges in the Kenosha shootings after the jury deliberated for 3 1/2 days.



That self-defense claim is one that Civil Rights Attorney and Temple Professor Timothy Welbeck says the Rittenhouse's defense team played into throughout the trial.

"Kyle Rittenhouse's attorneys relied on the idea that this was a dangerous scene, but the only person who exercised deadly violence was Kyle Rittenhouse himself," he said.

Welbeck thinks the verdict sends a message that has a ripple effect beyond the case.

"It indicates that one can go across state lines and use lethal force in an effort to defend property," he said.

"I think it's disgraceful," James Whelan said of the verdict as he visited Philadephia from Maine. "(Rittenhouse) went to a protest looking for trouble. He claimed he was a medic. He went for trouble. He caused it, and he took peoples' lives."

The concern now is that there will be more trouble between Rittenhouse's supporters and protestors.

Philadelphia police told Action News they were holding officers late past their shifts on Friday to be on standby in the event of any large protests or uprisings in response to the verdict.

Welbeck says the impact of this case is far from over.

"I expect to see protest on the counter protest," he said. "My hope is that they don't turn violent, but we shall see."

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