Kenosha braces for possible unrest after Rittenhouse verdict

 In the heart of downtown, small-business owners were prepared for the worst, fearing protesters, crime and vandalism may return regardless of the outcome in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

As closing arguments got underway Monday, residents and business owners braced for a possible repeat of August 2020 when demonstrators took to the streets after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a black resident, leaving him partially paralyzed.

“No matter which way the verdict goes, somebody is going to be upset,” said Lyna Postuchow, owner of A Summer’s Garden, a floral shop. “You always have to be ready because you don’t know what’s going to happen, but we hope cooler minds prevail.”

She was home last summer watching live surveillance video as a protester broke her store windows and damaged the front door. The shop sustained more than $10,000 in damage, which was covered by insurance.

“Nobody wants a repeat of last summer. Those were not Kenosha people. That’s not who caused us damage,” Postuchow said.

Several businesses on 6th Avenue between 56th and 57th streets that were targeted by demonstrators were either closed or unoccupied Monday. Owners of open establishments said they were waiting to see what comes next.

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