Kenosha Police Chief Dan Miskinis speaks at a press conference on August 26, 2020. (Photo by Brandon Bell / Getty Images)
A group of Seattle Food Trucks volunteers were arrested by law enforcement on Wednesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
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Riot Kitchen has been supplying food to protesters in Seattle for months after setting up a station at the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).
Occupied with a group of volunteers, they had planned to drive their truck across the country in Washington, DC on Friday to provide free food for demonstrators. After learning of the shooting at Jacob Blake in Kenosha, they decided to make a stop over in Wisconsin.
Kenosha police said they had received an anonymous tip pointing to “several suspicious vehicles with non-state license plates converging on remote property”. Authorities tracked the vehicles to a gas station where the volunteers were seen filling “several gas cans” that they later claimed were for generators used in their meal service.
A video posted on Twitter shows police – assisted by US marshals – rushing out of unmarked black SUVs to surround a silver minivan, draw their guns, and yell at volunteers in the Riot Kitchen van to “get this [expletive] An officer can then be seen breaking the window on the passenger side of the van before reaching in to unlock and open the door. From there, the volunteers got out of the vehicle and were arrested.
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Police claim the minivan’s occupants tried to drive away from the scene before being stopped by being “forced into” the vehicle.
A written statement from the Kenosha Police Department said they suspected that the occupants of these vehicles were preparing for criminal activity related to the riot [in Kenosha]. ”
The police found helmets, gas masks, protective vests, fireworks and “suspected controlled substances” in the vehicles. In total, they arrested nine people for disorderly behavior.