Riot Charge Against Influencer Dropped

Kai Cenat apologizes for 'huge giveaway' that caused thousands to descend on park
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2024 3:18 PM CDT
Riot Charge Against Influencer Dropped
Kai Cenat arrives at the Streamy Awards on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's office has agreed to drop charges against a social media influencer who may have underestimated his influence. Kai Cenat was arrested last year after he announced a "huge giveaway" of computers, PlayStations, and other items at New York City's Union Square. A crowd of thousands of young people packed the square, with some breaking car windows and climbing atop buses; dozens were arrested after clashes with police. Bragg's office said the charges, including inciting a riot, would be dropped if Cenat paid restitution and posted an apology on Snapchat, CNN reports. Cenat has more than 10 million followers on Twitch and millions more on other platforms, including YouTube and Instagram.

The DA's office says Cenat paid $55,000 to cover landscaping and other costs, the New York Times reports. In his apology, Cenat admitted that he should have thought more about the "irresponsible promotion." He said he "wanted to do something cool and fun for people and did not think it was going to turn into something that caused harm to the city." He added: "I have learned a very valuable lesson that social media is a very powerful tool to do good, but it can also cause dangerous, unwanted situations if it is not used properly." The AP reports that Cenat also apologized days after the chaotic incident, saying he was "beyond disappointed in anybody who became disruptive that day, bro." (More New York City stories.)

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