Illinois man charged with handing out explosives to Minneapolis rioters

Illinois man charged with handing out explosives to Minneapolis rioters
© Getty Images

An Illinois man faces several federal charges after he allegedly handed out explosive devices to rioters in Minneapolis demonstrating against the killing of George Floyd.

Officials charged Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, with civil disorder, carrying on a riot and possession of unregistered destructive devices after he allegedly handed out the explosives last week and encouraged people to throw them at law enforcement.

In videos that were allegedly posted to his Facebook account on Friday, Rupert is heard saying “He’s throwing my bombs” and, “He’s going to bomb the police with them,” after handing a device to a rioter. He’s later heard saying “good shot, my boy” after an audible explosion.


Rupert was arrested Sunday in Chicago after he allegedly violated the city’s curfew. Authorities found several destructive devices when they searched his vehicle, as well as a hammer, a heavy-duty flashlight and cash, according to a Justice Department statement.

The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s field offices in Minneapolis and Chicago and the Chicago Police Department. 

Rupert did not officially enter a plea when he appeared in court Monday. 

The charges come as protests across the country over the killing of Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis, turn violent. A number of businesses and buildings being vandalized and looted in multiple cities, and further reports of police-related violence have surfaced.

Local officials have said that many of those provoking violence have come to their cities from out of town. 

“Whether they're from Minnesota or not, if you're out there doing that at night, you're not sharing these values. You're not sharing who we are,” Minnesota Gov. Tim WalzTim Walz Minneapolis beefs up security ahead of former officer's trial in George Floyd death Officials: Barr blocked officer plea deal in George Floyd death OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden EPA asks Justice Dept. to pause defense of Trump-era rules | Company appeals rejection of Pebble Mine | Energy pick Granholm to get hearing Wednesday MORE (D) said this weekend.