American YouTuber Kai Cenat was charged by New York City authorities with inciting a riot and unlawful assembly after a video game console giveaway on Friday he allegedly advertised to his ten millions of followers on social networks, has descended into chaos.
Police made more than 60 arrests as thousands of Cenat’s fans responded to a message he posted online announcing he would give away 300 Sony PlayStation 5 consoles in Manhattan’s Union Square. He did not receive authorization from municipal authorities to organize the event.
“We won’t do anything until it’s safe.” Cenat said in a live video stream from the event as his supporters clashed with police. “Every man for himself, because it’s war out there, man.” He added: “(The police) are throwing tear gas there.”
About two hours after people began arriving at the scene Friday afternoon, the neighborhood — which is also home to one of New York’s busiest subway stations — was overwhelmed by crowds, many of whom were apparently disappointed for not having received the video game. equipment. Cenat was then removed from the premises for his own safety.
Some fans took to nearby streets and obstructed traffic, according to reports, while others climbed onto the roof of the nearby subway station and began throwing projectiles at police officers at the scene. Reports also indicate that some people were brandishing shovels and picks that had been stolen from a nearby construction site. Three police officers and four civilians were injured, police said.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) later said it had declared a “level four mobilization” which means that at least 1,000 police officers were dispatched to the scene.
“We have encountered things like this before, but never at this level of dangerousness, where young people did not listen to our orders,” NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said at a news conference Friday. He added that some youths were observed throwing fireworks at the police.
It remains unclear whether Cenat handed out PlayStation consoles to fans during what police later described as a “a total riot.”
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