Seattle-based food truck volunteers arrested in Kenosha, Wisconsin
A group of Seattle food truck volunteers were arrested by law enforcement in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Wednesday.
Riot Kitchen has been providing food to Seattle protesters for months now, after previously having a station set up at the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).
Staffed by a group of volunteers, they had planned to drive their truck across the country to provide free food for marchers on Friday in Washington, D.C. After hearing about the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, they decided to make a stop in Wisconsin.
Kenosha police say they received an anonymous tip alerting them to “several suspicious vehicles with out of state plates meeting in a remote lot.” Authorities tailed the vehicles to a gas station, where the volunteers were observed filling “multiple fuel cans,” which they later claimed were for generators used as part of their meal service.
A video posted to Twitter shows police — aided by U.S. Marshals — rushing out of unmarked black SUVs to surround a silver minivan, drawing their guns and yelling at volunteers in the Riot Kitchen van to “get the [expletive] out.” An officer can then be seen breaking the van’s passenger-side window, before reaching inside to unlock and open the door. From there, the volunteers exited the vehicle and were arrested.
Police claim that occupants of the minivan attempted to drive away from the scene, before being stopped by their “forced entry” into the vehicle.
A written statement from the Kenosha Police Department says they suspected “the occupants of these vehicles were preparing for criminal activity related to the civil unrest [in Kenosha].”
Police found helmets, gas masks, protective vests, fireworks, and “suspected controlled substances” inside the vehicles. In total, they made nine arrests for disorderly conduct.