Protests sprang up in New York and other cities across the country Friday night in response to Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal, resulting in at least five arrests and some property damage in Queens, according to the NYPD.
Police tweeted a photo of vandalized vehicles in Queens, including a car with handicap plates that had “F–k you” graffitied on the back in black spray paint.
“The NYPD takes its responsibility to protect the 1st amendment rights of peaceful demonstrators seriously,” the tweet said. “Just as important is the safety of NYers & the protection of property from people breaking the law in the name of protest. As seen tonight in Queens, they will be arrested.”
Law enforcement sources said five people were arrested for allegedly damaging cars and houses in Middle Village.
Queens Councilman Robert Holden told The Post that protestors tore through Crowley Park, and were also “jumping on cars and stealing American flags” on residential streets in Middle Village and Maspeth.
Holden raged over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s statement decrying the verdict, saying it “added gasoline to the fire.”
He said he sent the mayor a text that read: “Thousands of families mind their own business are in danger tonight because of your reckless reaction to the trial verdict.”
About 300 protesters also gathered outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where the Nets played the Orlando Magic Friday night, decrying the not-guilty verdict as a shameful racial double standard in the justice system.
Some held signs that read: “no justice in the capitalist courts” and “capitalism breeds racist terror.”
“Although Kyle Rittenhouse did not kill a black person. He was able to kill a white motherf—er and walk free,” on protester said.
The group marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and into Lower Manhattan, before dispersing.
Meanwhile, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, dozens of protesters congregated outside of the courthouse where Rittenhouse had been acquitted, for hours after the decision was announced.
A large-scale protest never materialized, and the small group was largely peaceful. One woman was arrested for drawing “Judge Schroeder must go” on the courthouse walls and steps in chalk, referring to Bruce Schroeder, the judge in the Rittenhouse trial, according to local reports.
Chants of “F–k Kyle,” and “No justice, no peace,” rang out from the crowd.
“It pissed me off because he shouldn’t got off,” Darell Garrett, 39, of Kenosha told The Post of the verdict. “I feel he should have gotten life for both those bodies. It makes no sense.”
Cosmetologist Stephanie White, a Kenosha resident, also couldn’t wrap her head around the jury’s decision.
“What brings me out? How they freed that boy. That don’t make no sense,” she said.
Breonna Reasby, 21, said that when she first heard the news of the verdict she “didn’t feel surprised, yet I was very disappointed.”
Tensions escalated dramatically in Portland, Oregon where a riot was declared after a group of about 200 protesters began hurling objects at police officers and damaging city buildings, cops said.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell told KOIN that it is “reasonable to expect there will be some type of reaction to the verdict.”
Other small protests took place in Chicago, where people gathered on the city’s streets to protest the verdict for a 90 minute peaceful march, local media reported. The Chicago Police Department had canceled many officers’ days off in anticipation of any unrest in response to the verdict, according to WGN.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement in response to Friday’s verdict in which she urged residents to “respect the jury’s decision,” while also criticizing Rittenhouse’s actions.
“However, no one should ever take the law into their own hands, or attempt to make themselves the judge, jury, and executioner. What Kyle Rittenhouse did was reckless, dangerous, and showed an utter disregard for human life. My condolences go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of the victims during this difficult time.”
Additional reporting by Carl Campanile