Videos showing YouTube star Jake Paul at a looted mall in Scottsdale, Arizona on the evening of May 30, Saturday, have been circulating on social media. This has prompted local police charged the 23-year-old with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly that show Paul’s alleged participation in the looting.
The social media influencer’s YouTube channel has more than 20 million subscribers. His videographer, Andrew Blue, shared footage of Paul inside the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall with friends at the time of the looting.
Police file misdemeanor charges against YouTuber Jake Paul
Videos posted on Instagram and YouTube show Paul walking through the mall while looters smash the glass of a Sephora and Swarovski stores as well as whack car windows. One video even shows Paul carrying a stolen bottle of vodka.
In a statement, the Scottsdale Police Department said on Thursday, June 4, that based on their investigation, Paul was at the scene “after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly” and the police have ordered protesters to leave the site.
“Paul also unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed,” the statement said. As a result, Paul was charged with misdemeanors for criminal trespass and unlawful assembly.
Paul gained popularity for his aggressive personality and using controversy and internet feuds to gain views. He regularly documents his life and travels with a team including a videographer who makes videos for his YouTube channel.
Paul denies the charges
During the height of last week’s demonstrations, he continued to deny the charges and claimed that he was at the mall simply only to capture the events for possible content for his YouTube channel.
“To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” Paul said in a tweet adding that they were “strictly documenting, not engaging” in any crime.
Ishan Goel, 21, was having dinner with Mr. Paul in a nearby restaurant on Saturday when Paul learned about the mall incidents, so they decided to check it out. “There were police helicopters circling with lights and sirens, and Jake wanted to figure out what was going on inside the mall,” Goel said in an interview with an entrepreneur on Thursday, June 4. He added that Paul was merely checking out why people were in the mall and what were they doing.
Shortly after they arrived, Paul was recognized by groups as he interviewed people. Later, the police moved in and used “tear gas” on Paul as he approached the officers. He posted a video on Instagram of explaining how the incident happened.
“Look at them, pointing guns at me – pointing guns at me right now,” he continued. “No cap, that’s tear gas, bro,” Paul said.
In a statement he shared on Twitter, Paul claimed that he spent his day protesting peacefully in aim to “bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through.” The Scottsdale Fashion Square mall looting was not connected with the Black Lives Matter movement and any of its protests. Many netizens accused Paul of using the protests to gain views.
Paul’s brother, Logan Paul who is also a YouTube vlogger posted a passionate anti-racism speech on his YouTube channel on Tuesday, June 2. He called out white people and those in power to “acknowledge and weaponize” their privilege.
“Make your voice heard, attend a protest, speak up against injustice,” said Logan adding that white may also use their privilege to leverage the protest. He also called people who ignore white privilege as “blind,” “delusional” and “part of the problem.”
what do you think in the looting happening in the United States ??