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Group Arrested in Kenosha Just Trying to Feed Protesters, Not Cause Trouble, Says Board Member

A board members of protest-support group from Seattle says their members were in Kenosha, Wisconsin not to cause, but to feed protesters.

“We were there to cook food,” Jennifer Scheurle of Riot Kitchen told The Seattle Times in a Friday report.

Kenosha police said they arrested nine people Wednesday. According to their account, they got a tip about a suspicious vehicles featuring out of state plates, meeting in a remote lot. Cops said they checked it out with the help of U.S. Marshals. They followed the three vehicles–a black school bus, a bread truck, and tan minivan–to a gas station, where they saw the black bus and bread truck “exit and attempt to fill multiple fuel cans.”

Police said they suspected the occupants were planning for criminal activity connected to local “civil unrest.” They approached the people, identified themselves, and detained the occupants. They claim the minivan tried driving away, but police stopped the vehicle, and forced entry.

Authorities claimed to have found items including “helmets, gas masks, protective vests, illegal fireworks, and suspected controlled substances.” Nine people were arrested for disorderly conduct, and more charges were pending, police said.

Scheuerle said eight of those people were with Riot Kitchen.

“Protective gear found in the bus is just that—protection for working in large crowds, masks for COVID protection,” Riot Kitchen said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “We reject all claims that our crew was there to incite violence.”

Schuerle told the outlet that the gas was to be used to fuel the generators for cooking, food production, and camping. She asserted that the minivan driver was just trying to exit the gas station as police got there. The board member also voiced doubt about the controlled substances allegation, saying that perhaps “residual” marijuana might have been there–it is legal in Washingston state, where Riot Kitchen is headquarter.

“We’ve never had fireworks anywhere,” she said, voicing surprise at the fireworks claim.

The nine defendants were bonded out of jail Friday on $150 each with the aid of donations, she said.

In video of the arrests, a woman recording the incident said the people being arrested did nothing wrong.

“They wasn’t doing nothing,” she said.

Kenosha has seen protests, officials curfews, and even an incident of alleged murder after Jacob Blake, 29, was shot seven times by police last Sunday.

[Screengrab via Riot Kitchen / @riotkitchen206 on Twitter]

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