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2 arrested over social media post have been released

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Posted at 9:09 AM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 10:09:15-04

WICHITA, Kan. — Two men who were arrested over a widely circulated social media post that urged violence and looting in suburban Wichita neighborhoods have been released.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the arrests of 20-year-old Michael Boston Jr., of Wichita, and 19-year-old Rashawn Mayes Jr., of Park City, on suspicion of incitement of a riot sparked immediate outcry on social media. Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson posted a supportive video on Facebook, saying the men “were arrested for sharing information that we all saw.”

Police said in a news release that Boston and Mayes “were responsible" for a post that encouraged people to meet up and then head to other parts of the city and county to carry out acts of violence, “causing fear and panic.”

Their arrest Wednesday night came amid peaceful protests, although earlier demonstrations had become violent. They were released without being formally charged or having to post bail. But the department said it plans to present its case against Boston and Mayes to the federal prosecutors office.

Officer Charley Davidson, a police spokesman, said the investigation was ongoing and wouldn't elaborate on what role the men might have played in the post’s creation or dissemination.