HomeEntertainmentChaos erupts in Union Square during livestreamer Kai Cenat's giveaway

Chaos erupts in Union Square during livestreamer Kai Cenat’s giveaway

NEW YORK — Chaos erupted Friday after a large crowd gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square Park for livestreamer Kai Cenat’s giveaway.

Some of the crowd could be seen tearing down construction barricades and hurling objects, including throwing objects at responding police officers.

Officials are expected to provide an update on the situation soon. You can watch that live on WCBS-TV and on CBS News New York.

When a vehicle tried to leave – believed to be carrying Cenat – the mob could be seen harassing it. He moved slowly through the crowd of people before finally driving off, with people clinging to the sides and rear. At least three people could be seen rolling off the vehicle onto the sidewalk as it drove away.

Cenat was taken into police custody for questioning around 5 p.m. CBS New York’s Marcia Kramer reported exclusively that Cenat was not licensed for the event.

Earlier in the day, he posted on social media that he would personally attend the giveaway.

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Cenat has over 9 million followers on Twitch and other social media platforms.

Related: Who is Kai Cenat?
Watch Chopper 2 cross the scene

As the chaos unfolded, Chopper 2 hovered overhead and saw people climb onto the roof covering the entrance to the Union Square subway station. One person saw a fire extinguisher go off sending huge plumes of smoke over the crowd.

Authorities estimate that some 2,000 people showed up for the meet-and-greet and giveaway, which would involve hundreds of video game consoles.

While crowds gathered as early as 1 p.m., the raucous behavior erupted around 3 p.m.

The NYPD called for a massive response — a Level 4 mobilization, amounting to about 1,000 officers — after people began demolishing construction barricades, throwing objects and standing at the Union Square subway entrance. Several people could be seen being taken into custody.

However, responding officers were not in riot gear, wearing helmets or carrying shields – a marked difference from how they responded to the George Floyd protests.

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Police could be heard using loudspeakers to tell the crowd that if they disperse they will not be arrested.

Some people in Union Square could be seen on top of cars and trucks.

New York City subways bypass Union Square station.

Much of the crowd walked about peacefully.

By 4:40 p.m., the crowd had thinned considerably, but there were still plenty of people around.

So far there have been no reports of serious injuries.

Check back soon for more information on this evolving story.

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