Jake Paul Hits Back After He’s Filmed At Arizona Mall Being Looted And Trashed
Jake Paul has released a statement after being filmed at a mall targetted by looters during Black Lives Matter protests in Arizona.
The YouTuber-cum-boxer faced intense criticism online after posting a video to his Instagram story of the chaotic scenes at Fashion Square mall in Scottsdale. The footage shows protesters partaking in property damage amid the response to the recent killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
While his video appeared to position him outside the mall, now-deleted footage from Paul’s videographer Andrew Blue seemingly places him inside along with the looters, which sparked the furore of viewers. However, the 23-year-old has urged they were ‘strictly documenting, not engaging’.
You can check out the footage of Paul in the mall below:
As per BBC News, 12 people were arrested following ‘millions of dollars of damages and theft’ in the Arizona mall. For the past six days, unrest has been surging in protests and riots across the US in response to the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody. So far, more than 4,100 people have been arrested for offences related to the protests.
While Paul can be heard dubbing the police at scene ‘f*cking idiots’ and claimed he was tear-gassed despite not ‘doing sh*t’, he was criticised en masse for appearing at the protests at all; some accused him of participating in the looting and property damage, others condemned him for manipulating the protests for social clout online.
In a lengthy statement, the YouTuber wrote:
To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism. For context, we spent the day doing our part to peacefully 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.
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 travelled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging.
He added that while not condoning ‘violence, looting or breaking the law’, he understands ‘the anger and frustration that led to the destruction we witnessed and while it’s not the answer, it’s important people see it and collectively figure out how to move forward in a healthy way’.
You can see Paul’s video below:
An earlier statement posted to Blue’s Instagram echoes a similar sentiment, outlining that nobody in Paul’s group was taking part in looting or vandalising. ‘We don’t condone or support any behavior like that,’ it read.
We are all doing the best we can to be helpful and raise awareness; this is not the time to attack each other, it’s time to join together and evolve.
Scrolling down his Twitter feed, Paul has also retweeted videos of police brutality while condemning the officers for the actions, as well as sharing a petition calling for justice for Floyd. It’s currently unclear whether the footage assembled from the Arizona protests will be used for a larger video on his YouTube account.
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