Video has emerged showing law enforcement officials in Kenosha, Wisconsin, detaining people and forcing them into unmarked vehicles.
In one clip, several vehicles with no license plates can be seen surrounding a silver van at an intersection. One officer smashes a window and before a woman is pulled out through the open door.
One officer then drives the silver vehicle away from the scene while others are being detained.
The people rounded up are believed to have members of Riot Kitchen 206, a nonprofit that provides meals for protesters and the homeless. The group was in Kenosha to offer food to those taking sport in the mass demonstrations which have broken out in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.
“Our whole Riot Kitchen crew, who had been in Kenosha today to feed protesters, has just been violently arrested by feds in unmarked vans,” Riot Kitchen 206 board member Jennifer Scheurle tweeted.
“My friends who have done nothing but good for people have just been kidnapped and we are trying to find them.
“Please help us. You’ve seen what we do and what our mission is. We want to feed people. We want to help the revolution. They smashed the window of one of our cars and threw people on the ground. No crimes were committed.
“I’m trying to not freak out and we’re trying to find them but honestly: I’m freaking out. I know these people. They are my friends. They sat in my living room talking about how to feed the revolution and the homeless. They want to do nothing but good. They were kidnapped today.”
Riot Kitchen HQ just learned that our bus crew was arrested in broad daylight in #Kenosha today – kidnapped by feds in unmarked vans.
We are currently trying to find our friends who were just there to feed people.
Please share and donate for bail via Venmo riotkitchen206 pic.twitter.com/o2TDbohvFl
— riotkitchen206 (@riotkitchen206) August 27, 2020
Elsewhere, freelance reporter Ethan Duran posted a video showing an armored vehicle and officers in tactical gear on a Kenosha street. Duran then tweeted that a driver “got yanked out of his Uhaul” by deputies.
A similar tactic of protesters being manhandled into unmarked vehicles was used in Portland, Oregon, after federal agents were brought in by the Trump administration to help deal with the continuous nights of protests in the city.
President Donald Trump said he has deployed almost 1,000 National Guard agents and more than 200 federal law enforcement personnel to Kenosha, although they were not believed to be present on Wednesday.
As noted by Kenosha News, the incidents occurred after the 7 p.m. curfew was put in place for Wednesday.
“Citizens need to be off the streets for their safety. Curfew will be enforced,” the Kenosha Police Department said in a statement.
The detainment of the Riot Kitchen members reportedly took place at around 7:30 p.m while Duran shared his images and video at around 7:15 p.m.
It is unclear why no one else at either scene was detained for being out past the 7 p.m. curfew.
The disorder that broke out in Kenosha in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake turned deadly on Tuesday when 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly shot and killed two people and seriously wounded another while claiming to be protecting a gas station.
Earlier that day, Governor Tony Evers confirmed that he would be increasing the presence of the Wisconsin National Guard to ensure “individuals can exercise their right safely, protect state buildings and critical infrastructure, and support first responders and firefighters.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Evers added: “A senseless tragedy like this cannot happen again. I again ask those who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights please do so peacefully and safely, as so many did last night.
“I also ask the individuals who are not there to exercise those rights to please stay home and let local first responders, law enforcement, and members of the Wisconsin National Guard do their jobs.
“We must turn from violence and remember that any single act of injustice against one person is less justice for us all.”
Kenosha Police have been contacted for comment.
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