ChangeMakers co-founder reacts to Rittenhouse verdict

Published: Nov. 20, 2021 at 10:43 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - One of the founders of the local advocacy group, ChangeMakers, is reacting to the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Daylana Saunders co-founded the group during the summer 2020 protest following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police.

“This was definitely the expected verdict,” Saunders said.

Rittenhouse was acquitted after three days of deliberation. The 18-year-old shot three men, killing two of them, during protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake was left paralyzed.

“To say that we were relived would be a gross misunderstatement,” Rittenhouse’s Defense Attorney Mark Richards said. “He (Rittenhouse) wants to get on with his life.”

Rittenhouse, who lives in Illinois, says he was in Kenosha to protect businesses during that protest. He claims he shot the three men in self defense.

“It’s definitely not discouraging for anything that we’ve been doing,” Saunders said. “The work that we’ve been doing is not contingent to what a racist and biased system could do to a coddled white boy.”

As this case comes to a close, Saunders says she’s hopeful for change.

“This is not the time to focus upon the facts of the case, which have always pointed towards guilt, but to focus now on our communities mental and physical health,” Saunders said.

Saunders says there are currently no plans for a protest in Fort Wayne. She says it’s more important to be proactive rather than reactive.

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