Union Square, Kai Cenat, NYPD

Twitch Streamer Kai Cenat To Be Charged With Inciting A Riot In Union Square

Online YouTuber and Twitch streamer Kai Cenat will be charged with at least two counts of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly after thousands of frenzied people gathered in Union Square Friday, August 4, in response to Cenat promising a PlayStation giveaway.

As reported by ABC News, Cenat made a post at around 3 p.m. promising to give away PS5s in Union Square on Friday. The viral post attracted a massive chaotic crowd. 

NYPD officers were forced to keep the masses under control as participants grew progressively rowdy. The park and surrounding streets surrounding became overcrowded. Videos from the incident show people jumping on cars and buses and even taking wood, axes, and shovels from a nearby construction site. 

According to Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey, the NYPD responded to the situation in riot gear but could not quickly disperse the crowd. Violence and confusion continued as attendees set off fireworks in the crowd.

Several officers were injured during the riot after being struck with objects, and six people were taken to the hospital. NYPD investigators revealed that Cenat was inciting and interacting with the rowdy crowd before leaving Union Square in the midst of its escalation. 

On his Instagram, Cenat shared news coverage of the incident and said, “Please be safe. I love you guys to the fullest. You guys are amazing.”

The NYPD arrested 65 people, a little under half of whom were minors. 

Maddrey said in a press release that many of the young people attack officers who tried to get them to disperse from the “unpermitted” event. He admitted that he wished the young people’s parents would have been able to step in. 

“I had thousands of kids out there. I needed thousands of parents,” Maddrey said. “When it gets to the point where it’s disorderly, we want the parents to come and take control. We were crushed; we were pushed.” 

He added, “We’re not against young people having a good time, we’re not against young people gathering, but it can’t be to this level where it’s dangerous. A lot of people got hurt today.”