KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS) — Two people were arrested Wednesday afternoon amid protests outside the Kenosha County Courthouse as jurors deliberated in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
Kenosha police and the county sheriff’s office said a 20-year-old man was arrested on allegations of battery, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, while a 34-year-old woman was arrested on allegations of disorderly conduct.READ MORE: Chicago Police Officer Shot, Wounded In Calumet Heights
The arrests happened just after after 4 p.m., Kenosha police have not confirmed exactly what led up to them. But witnesses told CBS 2 that one protester apparently punched a sign out of another protester’s hand – leading to an altercation and the arrest.
— Chris Tye (@TVTye) November 17, 2021
We have reached out to Kenosha police to find out whether these were the first during the trial, and whether there were other details available.
Kenosha police also said during the arrests, several officers had to be called in to keep crowds of people and the news media away.
“The Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department fully recognize the importance of media coverage surrounding the trial. The media and the public have a responsibility to give space to law enforcement and allow them to perform their duties,” police said in a news release. “Please do so.”
As CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported, there have been crowds of fluctuating sizes perched on the courthouse steps every hour the jury has been deliberating.
Some protesters Wednesday came in support of Rittenhouse, others condemned him, and others expressed support for Black Lives Matter. The mix of viewpoints has gotten heated from time to time.
One protester showed up with a rifle and was photographed doing so. When there such a flashpoint like in front of court, what often happens is a swarm of cameras descend – and in this case, police engaged with him. He was told he could not carry such a firearm given the proximity of a school.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Abel Osundairo, One Of Two Brothers Who Said He Was Paid To Help Stage Attack, Says Smollett 'Wanted Me To Fake Beat Him Up'
The protester left, and came back later without the weapon.
The waiting game has produced a lot of punchy behavior. We witnessed several occasions where the voices got loud and angry – and minor physical altercations popped up.
Police stepped in to try and cool things down.
Many of those setting up positions in Kenosha are broadcasting on their own social media channels. The crowds range from a dozen to 100 over the last two days.
It is local police and sheriff’s department officials that are handling the day-to-day security around the court. But the Wisconsin National Guard is on standby. They are staging about 60 miles from Kenosha in case they’re needed when the verdict comes down.
Roughly 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops are standing by. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers activated them in case they’re needed.
They will not be deploying to Kenosha until and unless the local police say they need them.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Partly Cloudy And Breezy Overnight
At this point there are no plans to close any roads or enact curfews.