As Rittenhouse awaits verdict, the man shot by the Kenosha officer slowly recovers.

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As Rittenhouse awaits verdict, the man shot by the Kenosha officer slowly recovers.

Kenosha, Wis. — as a jury of 12 Kenosha County residents weighed in on the fate of Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two people and injured a third, Jacob Blake, the man who policed ​​police, amid unrest last summer. The protest, which was partially paralyzed in the shooting of the protest, was miles away in Chicago, where he undergoes physical therapy in an attempt to walk again.

Mr Blake, 30, has set a goal to walk on his own by next summer, said his uncle Justin Blake, who remains on the stairs outside the courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., during Mr Rittenhouse’s trial.

Justin Blake said of Jacob Blake, “He’s having bad days, no doubt, but he’s very grateful to be alive,” said his uncle, not following every turn in the Rittenhouse trial and Instead he focused on healing and found a new side job, printing T-shirts. “They need to focus on themselves, on their kids and their new normal,” Justin Blake said.

Credit…Adria-Joie Watkins, via The Associated Press

In August 2020, Jacob Blake was training to be a mechanic and was living in Kenosha when a woman with whom he has several children called 911 and said she was about to drive in his rental car. Within minutes, Kenosha police officers arrived at the woman’s home, where officers later said they planned to arrest Mr. Blake on an outstanding warrant for a sexual assault charge, which was eventually dropped.

When Mr. Blake, who is black, appeared to be trying to break into the car with a knife in one hand, a white officer, Rusten Shesky, shot him seven times. Several of Mr Blake’s children were in the back seat of the car.

The police shooting, which was captured in a bystander video, came during a heat of anger and demonstrations across the country over police violence following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Protests broke out in Kenosha as well, but attention quickly shifted to the Kenosha fire and looting from Mr Blake’s shooting.

A few days after Mr. Blake was shot, Mr. Rittenhouse, who lived about 30 minutes away in Antioch, Ill., brought a semi-automatic rifle that was stored in the town of Kenosha in Wisconsin, where he said he was supposed to protect businesses. and want to provide medical care. ,

Mr Rittenhouse, 18, who is facing five felony counts, has testified that he was defending himself from the three men he shot during a chaotic evening in the streets of Kenosha.

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He was charged with reckless manslaughter in the first shooting, in which he killed Joseph Rosenbaum, whom Mr Rittenhouse said was following him and attacked his gun.

After Mr Rittenhouse fell to the ground while jogging away from a group of people following him after the first shooting, he fatally shot Anthony Huber, who had swung a skateboard at him. He was charged with intentional manslaughter – a count often called manslaughter in other states – in the death of Mr. Huber, who was a friend of Jacob Blake and had gone there to protest.

Seconds later, Mr. Rittenhouse shot another man in the crowd, Gage Groskretz, when Mr. Groskretz walked towards him holding a handgun, which counted as an intentional attempt to murder. He is also facing two charges of endangering security by pointing guns at two people.

The jurors began considering the charges after 9 a.m. on Tuesday and went home in the evening without a decision. They will return on Wednesday morning for more discussions.

The group of 18 potential jurors overseeing the trial was reduced to 12 through a process that is unusual but a tradition in the court of Judge Bruce Schroeder. Eighteen slips of paper with the number of jurors were placed in a brown container, which was turned around, and then Mr. Rittenhouse himself pulled the six papers out of the contraption; Those jurors were dismissed, although they were asked to remain in the courthouse as an alternate if one of the 12 jurors suffered from illness or was dismissed during deliberations.

While they were deliberating, the jurors asked for copies of the first part of the jury instructions which dealt with self-defense. Later he asked for other instructions. Otherwise, he had no questions for the judge on Tuesday.

Outside the courthouse, a small group of Mr Rittenhouse’s supporters and opponents gathered and sometimes quarreled with each other in front of a crowd of journalists.

Mr Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, has spent most of the day on the steps of the courthouse, where he has waved the Pan-African flag and said he believes Mr Rittenhouse is to blame. Bishop Tavis Grant, a pastor and activist from East Chicago, Ind., said he hoped the focus on Rittenhouse’s lawsuit would lead to more scrutiny on another decision he found unacceptable: the Kenosha County district attorney announced in January. By a choice, not to charge Officer Shesky in the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Mr Blake has rarely spoken publicly since the shooting, but he told CNN in August that he “did not agree” with the devastating protests over the conduct of police, but understood why they had happened. . He also said he believed Mr Rittenhouse was treated differently by the police because he is white.

“The reasons they said they shot me, they had every reason to shoot him, but they didn’t,” CNN quoted Blake as telling Mr Rittenhouse. “Honestly, if he had a different skin tone – and I’m not prejudiced or racist – he probably would have been labeled a terrorist.”

Justin Blake said Tuesday that keeping busy is a must for his nephew.

Justin Blake said, “He’s just trying to do something that keeps him busy and moves his mind and keeps him from thinking about bad things.” “He’s a blake. We move and we go. It’s in our DNA — we don’t stop.”

Julie Boseman, Dan Heinkel And Sergio Olmos Contributed reporting from Kenosha.

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