Last week, nine people who were arrested by Kenosha police in Wisconsin after their vehicles prompted suspicion.
According to group organizers, the volunteers are on their way to deliver food to protesters.
Leaders of Riot Kitchen, a group formed to feed protesters in Seattle in the wake of George Floyd’s death, said in a CNN report that volunteers had been planning to join a caravan headed to help feed protesters at Friday’s March on Washington when they were arrested at a Kenosha gas station on Wednesday.
The organization said in an August 28 statement on Twitter that during the time of arrest, volunteers were refueling vehicles and getting gas for the generator they use for cooking.
“Our crew was arrested by officers who did not identify themselves with drawn guns,” the statement read.
“Our volunteers were thrown into holding cells and kept for hours without water or blankets and denied phone calls to their loved ones.It is unknown why the volunteers ended up in Kenosha. Riot Kitchen said they have since been released.”
In a news release on August 27, police officials had arrested nine people on August 26 for disorderly conduct after being tipped off about “suspicious vehicles with out of state plates meeting in a remote lot.”
The department said that officers located the vehicles, a black school bus, a bread truck, and a tan minivan. They began surveillance with the assistance of US Marshals. Police then followed the vehicles to a gas station.
“Police observed the occupants of the black bus and bread truck exit and attempt to fill multiple fuel cans,” the news release reads. “Suspecting that the occupants of these vehicles were preparing for criminal activity related to the civil unrest, officers attempted to make contact and investigate.”
Police officers exited their vehicles and detained the people inside the bus and bread truck, the department said. The police said that the minivan attempted to drive away, but that officers halted the vehicle and forcibly entered it, arresting the people inside.
Moreover, police said there were “helmets, gas masks, protective vests, illegal fireworks, and suspected controlled substances” inside the vehicles. Riot Kitchen then said that the gear was intended as protection for serving large crowds.
“We reject all claims that our crew was there to incite violence or build explosives,” Riot Kitchen said in its statement. “Our nonprofit organization has always been and always will be about feeding people.”