KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS/AP) — A jury on Friday was just days away from deciding the fate of Kyle Rittenhouse.
With that in mind, CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar took a look back at how we got here – and revisited some those here in Kenosha who are forever changed from the events of August 2020.
Rittenhouse, who was 17 when he fatally shot two protesters and wounded a third in August 2020 during a chaotic night of protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, testified that he had acted in self-defense.
The testimony in the trial is now over. Closing arguments will be coming Monday, and the jury will get the case afterward.
But like so many in Kenosha, Scott Carpenter is still rebuilding from the summer of 2020.
“There’s something about you inside, you know, being knocked down and having to get back up, you know – don’t let it hold you down and stop you from pursuing your dreams; pursuing your future – let something bad change your direction,” Carpenter said.
It was on the third night of protests and unrest in Kenosha when Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz.
The night before that, several buildings, car lots, and vehicles in Kenosha were set on fire – including Carpenter’s family-owned furniture store – which was completely burned to the ground.
B&L Officer has since moved to a new location, where the site where the building that was destroyed by fire stood remains vacant. Carpenter said it was very it was very important to him to reopen quickly.
The unrest came after a Kenosha police officer shot Blake seven times at close range on Aug. 23, 2020, leaving him paralyzed.
Former President Donald Trump met with Carpenter during his tour of the destruction.
“We will help you rebuild,” President Trump said at the time.
Carpenter reopened a few months after losing everything.
“You don’t want to see that destruction and devastation happen to your town, you know, for no reason,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wes West, a former police officer, started the African American club in Kenosha in the summer of 2020. He protested the police shooting of Blake, and now he waits for a verdict in the Rittenhouse case.
“I’m tired,” West said. “Relax, just relax – take a moment, understand the situation, understand the gravity of it all.”
West said regardless of the outcome in court, he is encouraged at the progress his city has made.
“We know what we believe is going to happen — don’t be discouraged,” West said. “Hope for the best and expect the worst.”
Things have remained calm in Kenosha for the two weeks of the trial. The jury could begin deliberating as soon as Monday afternoon.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has called up the state’s National Guard in preparation for the verdict.