Police: Streamer Kai Cenat charged with inciting Union Square riot

Police say thousands of people showed up for a giveaway organized by Cenat, who was supposed to hand out free Playstations.

News 12 Staff

Aug 5, 2023, 12:08 PM

Updated 253 days ago

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Streamer and social media influencer Kai Cenat has been charged with inciting the riot that took over the Union Square area on Friday.
Cenat is known for his Twitch livestreams and comedy content on the internet. He has over 3 million subscribers on YouTube.
Police say thousands of people showed up for a giveaway organized by Cenat, who was supposed to hand out free Playstations. There was no permit in place for the event, according to authorities.
The gathering quickly overwhelmed the area. Authorities say people broke into a construction site, threw tools at officers and set off fireworks inside the park. Some people say they mistook the noise for gunshots.
Police say 65 people were arrested during the riot. Almost half of those arrested were minors.
NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey says at least three officers were injured along with four other people.
"We have encountered things like this before, but never to this level of dangerousness. We had to make arrests,” he said. "We wanted the kids to just comply with us and leave but we were met with a lot of resistance. We were attacked."
Maddrey says influencers need to be more responsible when it comes to fan interactions.
“We went from 300 kids to a couple of thousand kids in minutes. We want our young people to enjoy their lives, but it can't be a situation where it's dangerous,” he said.
Cenat was eventually removed from the area, which helped calm down some of the chaos. However, authorities say the commotion continued into the evening.
Cenat now faces charges related to inciting a riot and unlawful assembly.


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