Nine people arrested by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for allegedly being outside agitators were in the city to distribute food to protesters, a director of the nonprofit kitchen said Saturday.
Jennifer Scheurle, who serves on the board of directors for Riot Kitchen, based in Seattle, said Kenosha police were mistaken when they arrested the volunteers Wednesday for investigation of disorderly conduct.
“We’re not there to stir up anything,” Scheurle said. “We just want to feed people. We support protesters of any kind.”
The nine were released from jail Friday on about $150 bail each, paid with the help of donations, she said.
The Kenosha Police Department said it focused on three vehicles associated with the group after receiving a tip from a citizen “alerting us to several suspicious vehicles with out-of-state plates.”
Officers and U.S. marshals surveilled the black school bus, food truck and minivan and moved in for arrests when the suspects attempted to fill gas cans with fuel at a gas station, the department said.
The driver of the minivan “attempted to drive away,” Kenosha police said, and when officers caught up with it, they “forced entry.” In video posted to social media and shared by Scheurle, police are seen breaking a minivan window after one officer shouts, “Get the [expletive] out.”