KENOSHA, WI—Nine people were arrested at a gas station in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 26 for driving and riding in suspicious vehicles. Those arrested are associated with the food-delivery group Riot Kitchen. This Seattle-based group was founded in the aftermath of George Floyd’s who was killed in May 2020 by Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin.
While speaking with CNN, Riot Kitchen leaders indicated the volunteers had been apart of a caravan of cars—a bus, a bread truck, and a minivan—headed to Washington D.C. to feed demonstrators at the March on Washington.
On August 26, the organization tweeted, “Riot Kitchen HQ just learned that our bus crew was arrested in broad daylight in #Kenosha today – kidnapped by feds in unmarked vans.”
The Kenosha Police Department wrote in an August 27 news release that officials arrested the volunteers on August 26 for disorderly conduct after receiving a tip about “suspicious vehicles with out of state plates meeting in a remote lot.”
“Suspecting that the occupants of these vehicles were preparing for criminal activity related to the civil unrest, officers attempted to make contact and investigate,” the release stated.
Kenosha police officers detained those inside Riot Kitchen’s bus and bread truck, and though the organization’s minivan attempted to drive away officer’s stopped the car and arrested those inside.
Authorities found “helmets, gas masks, protective vests, illegal fireworks and suspected controlled substances” inside the vehicles.
In a response statement, Riot Kitchen wrote, “We reject all claims that our crew was there to incite violence or build explosives…Our nonprofit organization has always been and always will be about feeding people.”
Volunteers have since been released from prison, but it is still unclear as to why the volunteers drove through Kenosha on their way to Washington D.C.
Riot Kitchen tweeted on August 28, “48 hours after the arrest of our crew feeding people in Kenosha, all Riot Kitchen members have been freed! Thank you to our community for your help, support and concerns! We continue to work to feed people for free, bring food equality and de-escalate with warm meals!”