A 28-year-old man from the small town of Galesburg, Illinois, made the approximately 400-mile trip to Minneapolis over the weekend, federal authorities allege, in order to participate in the looting and chaos that has engulfed the city since the police killing of George Floyd.
Matthew Rupert was later caught by Chicago police early Sunday for violating the city’s curfew, and allegedly had several homemade explosive devices in his car. On Monday, he was charged in U.S. District Court in Minnesota with inciting a riot and possession of an explosive device.
Rupert, who appears to be white, does not seem to be associated with any organized political groups, either left-wing or right-wing. Rather, the evidence implies, he appears to have joined the anti-police brutality protests for the general purpose of causing mayhem.
According to court documents reported on by the Chicago Tribune, Rupert used his own Facebook account to livestream himself at the protests, and he can be seen damaging property, attacking police and encouraging others to do the same.
Rupert was not alone when he was arrested. One of his companions, authorities say, was his live-in girlfriend, who told police that Rupert had traveled to Minneapolis “in order to riot.” His brother was also arrested and charged with reckless conduct and disorderly conduct.
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