Illinois Man Charged With Bringing Bombs to Twin Cities Riots
Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - Federal prosecutors in Minnesota have filed charges against an Illinois man for his alleged involvement in the violence that spread across the Twin Cities last week and into the weekend.
Erica MacDonald, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, says 28-year-old Matthew Rupert is charged with civil disorder, carrying on a riot, and possession of unregistered destructive devices. He was arrested earlier today in Chicago.
According to the charges, Rupert posted messages on Facebook referencing the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd that indicated he was traveling to Minneapolis on Thursday. He then posted a cell phone video on Facebook stating he was in the Twin Cities and showing him passing out explosive devices and encouraging people to throw the explosives at law enforcement officers. Prosecutors say the cell phone video also shows him actively damaging property, appearing to light a building on fire, and participating in looting.
Specifically, the charges state Rupert could be seen in the videos handing an item in a brown casing with a green wick to other individuals and telling them, "They got SWAT trucks up there... I have got some bombs if some of you all want to throw them back... bomb them back...here I got some more..light it and throw it."
Later Facebook posts have Rupert back in Chicago early Sunday, where he shared additional videos of himself saying "let us start a riot" and "I am going to start doing some damage." Officials say he was arrested by Chicago police early Monday for violating that city's emergency curfew order and authorities recovered several destructive devices, a hammer, a heavy-duty flashlight, and cash from his vehicle.