Tallahassee activists and attorneys react to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 9:00 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - All eyes were on Kenosha, Wisconsin Friday for the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict but the ripple effect spread across the country.

The result causing protesters believe the verdict changes how people will go about acting on their first amendment right.

The sounds of not guilty from the Rittenhouse trial caused immediate backlash from protesters in Wisconsin with those same sentiments echoing more than a thousand miles away here in Tallahassee.

“We’re seeing that there are two Americas here and that nobody wants to do anything about it,: exclaimed Tallahassee resident Isiah Taylor. “So yes, they are stoking a tinderbox and they’re not going to be anywhere near it when the things explodes.”

And while protesters disagree with the verdict, local attorney Joe Bodiford believes the right decision was made.

“No, I was not at all surprised by the verdict and quite frankly I’m surprised it took them that long,” explained attorney Joe Bodiford. “However, I commend the jury for being thorough and I commend those jurors for taking this very seriously.”

While some believe there were some critical errors by the prosecution and bias from the judge in the case, Bodiford said we should commend the jury for the sound decision they made with the facts that were presented.

“One thing that we can all take some comfort and solace in is that we have citizens in our community when tasked with being a juror and applying those facts to those laws that they take it very seriously and they do with their ask to do and they do it well,” said Bodiford.

Protesters say they fear the trial will lead to more armed counter-protesters moving forward but they won’t let it stop them.

“You know the way I see it is that I’m black and I’m already going to face violence so I might as well fight for what I believe in,” explains TCAC President Regina Joesph.

And with tensions running high once again, protesters say all eyes are now on the Ahmaud Arbery trial to regain any faith they may have in the justice system.

In response to those calling the justice system broken, attorney Joe Bodiford says it needs some work but it’s not at all broken.

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