Twitch Streamer Kai Cenat Accused of Inciting a Riot After Giveaway in N.Y.C.’s Union Square

A social media influencer is suspected of inciting a riot after allegedly losing control of a giveaway in New York City’s Union Square on Friday.

Twitch video game streamer Kai Cenat was in custody after the incident and is likely facing two counts of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly, New York City Police Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said in a press conference posted to Facebook.

Cenat has 6.5 million followers, according to his Twitch profile.

Members of the NYPD respond to the disruptions caused by large crowds during a “giveaway” event hosted by popular Twitch live streamer Kai Cenat.

Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty

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At least three officers were injured and a sergeant broke his hand during the scuffle, Maddrey said, adding that more than 60 people were arrested, including about 30 juveniles. The New York Police Department became aware of a post allegedly made by Cenat informing people about a giveaway in Manhattan’s Union Square, Maddrey said.

The post went viral, Maddrey said. According to CNN, Cenat during a Wednesday Twitch stream said he would be hosting a “huge giveaway” Friday at 4 p.m. in Union Square Park. Cenat said he would be giving away computers, Play Station 5s, microphones, keyboards, webcams, gaming chairs, headphones, and gift cards.

“It was about 300 people around 1:30, not a big crowd, something we would expect for a social media event like this,” Maddrey said. “But this event grew exponentially, rapidly, fast, and again this is the power of social media. There were thousands of young people here at this event. This wasn’t a permitted event. It wasn’t a sanctioned event.”

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Members of the NYPD respond to the disruptions caused by large crowds during a "giveaway" event hosted by popular Twitch live streamer Kai Cenat

Members of the NYPD respond to the disruptions caused by large crowds during a “giveaway” event hosted by popular Twitch live streamer Kai Cenat.

Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty

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Cenat was removed by police “for safety reasons,” Maddrey said.

Maddrey said the crowd became violent and allegedly broke into a construction site and used its materials as weapons.

“We were attacked,” Maddrey said. “Young people destroyed our vehicles. My car is destroyed. They destroyed food carts. They destroyed stores.”

According to NBC News, Cenat broke the record for most active subscribers on Twitch in March after streaming uninterrupted for 30 days. He has also been temporarily banned from Twitch on five occasions.

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Source: HIS Education

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