Social media influencer Kai Cenat is facing charges of inciting a riot and promoting an unlawful gathering in New York City after the online streamer drew thousands of his followers – many of them teenagers – with promises of giving away electronics, including a new PlayStation.
The gathering produced chaos, with dozens of people arrested – some jumping atop vehicles, hurling bottles and throwing punches.
Cenat was released early Saturday from police custody after being issued a desk appearance ticket, which officers issue to require a suspect to appear in court to answer charges. A police spokesperson said Cenat is scheduled for court on 18 August.
The mayhem in New York City’s Union Square Friday afternoon put further focus on the hold social media influencers have on the people who follow and fawn over them.
“Our children cannot be raised by social media,” Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday during a press briefing on an unrelated crime.
Police said they arrested 65 people, including 30 juveniles. Several people were injured, including some with bloodied faces. At least four people were taken away in ambulances.
Cenat, 21, is a video creator with 6.5 million followers on the platform Twitch, where he regularly livestreams. He also boasts 4 million subscribers on YouTube, where he posts videos about daily life and comedy, with titles ranging from “Fake Hibachi Chef Prank!” to his most recent offering, “I Rented Us Girlfriends In Japan!”
His 299 YouTube videos have amassed more than 276m views among them. In December, Cenat won the title of streamer of the year at the 12th annual Streamy Awards.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/05/kai-cenat-inciting-riot-charges-giveaway-new-york Influencer faces charges of inciting riot after New York giveaway causes chaos | New York