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Activist and legal expert weigh in on the implications of the Rittenhouse trial verdict

The jury deliberated for three days before acquitting the 18-year-old on all charges filed.

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. — The nation waited three weeks for the verdict to come down in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. The jury deliberated for three days before acquitting the 18-year-old on all charges filed.

"It was very disappointing, but I'm not surprised by the verdict," Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis said.

She said the case was in Rittenhouse's favor since the first week it started.

Rittenhouse was 17-years-old when he shot and killed two and injured one on the night protests broke out in Kenosha over the shooting of Jacob Blake. 

The jury was tasked with deciding if his actions were intentional or out of self-defense.

"It's not whether he did it or not, it's whether the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the elements of each crime were met," Former Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Flores said. 

The law professor says the jury found the defendant was justified. 

"I respect the jury verdict, I just don't know what the consequences are. There's gonna be a lot of commentary on the consequences of the trial," Flores said.

While commentary starts about the use of guns during protests, many argue the verdict sets the tone for the future.

"It sends a negative message to the white population, that this is okay. That it's okay to kill people and that you can walk away with it. And I mean negative because no one deserves that, to die. No one deserved that. It's also a negative message for African American community because guess what, we have no hope. You kill us down in the streets, but yet you get to go home to your family," Lewis said.

While race shouldn't play a factor in the courtroom, Flores says it's possible the criminal justice system may not treat everyone fairly depending on the case. 

"I am not naïve enough not to believe [race] might. However, in this instance, we did have a white defendant shooting white victims and being judged by a primarily white jury. So, could it have been different with different facts? Yes, could have. I hope not," Flores said.