Demonstrators await Rittenhouse verdict, Kenosha County sheriff's deputies retain man with long gun

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The scene outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on Wednesday, Nov. 17, was more relaxed than the building commotion from the day prior. But that was threatened by a man walking around carrying a bullhorn and an assault rifle, strapped around his shoulder.

Not too long after our CBS 58 morning crew noticed the armed man, it was clear that Kenosha law enforcement already had him on their radar.

The unidentified man was walking alongside the steps of the courthouse until sheriff's deputies pulled him to the side to talk.

We don't know exactly what was said, they kept media at a distance, but after that chat the man walked away and came back without that gun.

Unfortunately, it's demonstrations like this that demonstrators tell CBS 58 they don't want.

Xavier Simmons, with the organization 'Change is Coming', was playing music during the morning. He says it was to help keep things peaceful. And despite the verdict in the Rittenhouse case, this is his message to everyone.

"Come out here with positive energy. And understand that you're coming out into another neighborhood that had that uprising since last year. And we can't have that violence in our communities anymore," said Simmons.

Wednesday is day two of jury deliberation.

The group of protesters, including people not from Wisconsin, continues to grow as the public awaits the verdict. 

CBS 58 talked with supporters and detractors of Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, who both felt very strongly in their beliefs.

"No kid from Illinois comes all the way to southeast Wisconsin just to protect some stores that he's probably never been to. If he was anything but white they would've had the book thrown at him," said Racine resident Michael Burmeister, who does not support Rittenhouse.

However, one supporter of the 18-year-old Illinois man feels more people should have been there the night of Aug. 25, 2020 to protect Rittenhouse, including himself.

"He's a 17-year-old trying to defend. He's a kind soul. There's risk in defending a community against a mob and he knew those risks. He went in anyway," said supporter Steve Stuart.

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