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Illinois Man Matthew Rupert Charged With Rioting, Possessing Explosives In Minneapolis, Chicago George Floyd Protests

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The U.S. Attorney's office has charged Galesburg, Illinois resident Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, with causing civil disorder, a riot and possessing unregistered explosive devices in an effort to stoke chaos Friday night during protests for George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The criminal complaint says Rupert posted to Facebook Friday, saying, "I'm going to Minneapolis tomorrow who coming only goons I'm renting hotel rooms." Then Saturday, he posted a cellphone video of himself in Minneapolis, giving out explosive devices to people and pushing for others to throw the explosives at law enforcement. He is also shown in the video damaging property, and engaging in arson and looting businesses.

"They've got SWAT trucks up there … I've got some bombs if you all want to throw them back," Rupert said in the video. "Bomb them back … here I got some more … light it up and throw it."

He is also seen in the video asking people for lighter fluid before he enters a Sprint store.

"I lit it on fire," Rupert says in the video, before going into an Office Depot and looting merchandise.

On Saturday, Rupert posted to Facebook again, this time looking for people to join him in Chicago for similar activities. He then posted videos early Sunday morning of himself roaming the city with other accomplices.

"Let's start a riot," Rupert said in a video. "I'm going to start doing some damage."

Rupert and his companions were arrested at about 2:21 a.m. Sunday by Chicago police officers for violating curfew. Police found explosives, a flash light, a hammer and cash inside his car.

Anyone with information about people committing similar crimes during protests, including violence, destruction and arson, are urged to called FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI (5324).


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