High profile YouTuber Jake Paul has been criminally charged after a videos of him among what appear to be looters in an Arizona mall went viral.
YouTube star Jake Paul and his friends were caught “looting” and trashing property in a Scottsdale mall last night amid protests pic.twitter.com/KyrE87TvA9
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) May 31, 2020
Variety reports Jake Paul, a high-profile YouTube creator and digital influencer, was charged by police in Scottsdale, Ariz., with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly after he was identified among a crowd of looters at a local mall Sunday.
“In our continued investigation it was confirmed that Jake Paul was in attendance & remained inside after an unlawful assembly was declared & has been charged with Criminal Trespass & Unlawful Assembly,” the Scottsdale Police Department said in a tweet Thursday from its official account. Both charges are misdemeanors.
In response, Paul said in a tweet Thursday, “gimme my charges and let’s put the focus back on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter.”
On Sunday, Paul posted videos to his Instagram Story showing him protesting outside the Fashion Square mall in Scottsdale and police officers who threw tear gas in his direction. He captioned the video “america is in ruins” and “what can we do,” then posted a photo of his face saying “I’m tear gassed my eyes bleeding.” Subsequent videos posted on Twitter from the scene showed Paul watching others damage the outside of a P.F. Chang’s restaurant.
Paul posted a statement on his Twitter account Sunday, insisting that he and his group were only documenting the scene and they did not participate in looting or vandalism.
“For context, we spent the day doing our part to peaceful protest one of the most horrific injustices our country has ever seen, which led to us being tear-gassed for filming the events and brutality that were unfolding in Arizona,” Paul wrote in the post. “We were gassed and forced to keep moving on foot. We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging.”
Jake Paul rose to fame on Twitter’s now-defunct Vine, and currently has 20 million subscribers on YouTube, more than 13.2 million followers on Instagram, and 3.8 million Twitter followers. He’s the younger brother of Logan Paul, who is also an actor and digital influencer.
The YouTube bio for Jake Paul reads in part, “The squad ‘Team 10’ & I are always making comedy vids, acting, doing action sports, & going on crazy adventures.”