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Galesburg Man Charged With Inciting Riots in Chicago, Minneapolis

Knox County Jail
Matthew Lee Rupert

A 28-year-old Galesburg man faces federal charges of inciting riots in Chicago and Minneapolis - and handing out explosives to fellow rioters.

Matthew Lee Rupert was arrested Monday in Chicago. Minnesota U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said Rupert posted a video to his Facebook account on May 28 talking about public protests in Minneapolis following George Floyd's death. A former Minneapolis police officer is charged with his murder.

The next day, Rupert posted Facebook videos which allegedly showed him handing out explosives in Minneapolis, encouraging people to throw them at police, lighting a building on fire, and looting and damaging property.

Rupert then headed to Chicago on May 30. In videos posted to social media, Rupert reportedly said “let’s start a riot” and “I’m going to start doing some damage.”

He was arrested by Chicago police for violating the city's curfew order. Police found several "destructive devices," a hammer, a flashlight, and cash in his vehicle.

Rupert is charged with civil disorder, carrying on a riot, and possession of unregistered destructive devices. He will appear in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Tuesday.