Kenosha businesses remain open following Rittenhouse verdict

NOW: Kenosha businesses remain open following Rittenhouse verdict

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KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Now that the verdict's out, how are the people of Kenosha bracing for the days ahead?

It's a far different picture than last year's turnout after high profile cases like the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

But still, there is a sense of concern and fear in the community. You can tell in the downtown district, where it's typically busier on a Friday night.

"I will say it is a slower Friday than normal and I don't think that's because anything dangerous is actually happening. I think there's a little bit of a panic that something will happen. I will say from my experience it's just a lot of bad information being spread on social media," said Samantha Jacquest of Blue House Books.

We took video outside the courthouse immediately after Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts and we drove past downtown Kenosha hours later.

A number of businesses that were boarded up last year are still that way. But those that recovered are open for business Friday night, and they're standing strong together. Owners say they have no plans to close early or board up, that this is a different time.

"It's not racial this year," said Kevin Ervin of Frank's Diner. "Last year was the middle of summer, hot August, you know like you said, people had been cooped up for months. It was a lot of tension around for people and all the other trials that were happening across the country. It was a big movement. I don't think there's that big movement right now, especially not for this."

There's a Facebook page for downtown Kenosha businesses, and a majority say they're hoping cooler heads prevail for this.

They say they will not be boarding up. 

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