YouTuber Jake Paul Charged With Criminal Trespassing And Unlawful Assembly
YouTuber Jake Paul has been charged with trespassing and unlawful assembly after being identified at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall in Arizona.
Paul posted footage of himself at the scene where rioters had gathered and were looting shops. In an Instagram video shared last week, he could be heard calling rioters ‘f*cking idiots’.
Despite his apparent disapproval towards those causing chaos, videos shared online by Paul’s videographer, Andrew Blue, showed Paul inside the mall, alongside those who were looting.
The YouTuber-cum-boxer was criticised for being at the scene, but he later claimed he and his team were ‘strictly documenting, not engaging.’
Though he argued his innocence, Paul has now been charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly.
The Scottsdale Police Department released a statement to say it had ‘received hundreds of tips and videos’ which identified Paul as ‘a participant in the riot’, NBC News reports.
The statement continued:
Our investigation has revealed that Paul was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by the police.
Paul also unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed.
While it’s unclear whether Paul took anything from the mall, his statement in response to critics implies he was at the scene, which will likely serve as further evidence towards his charges.
Addressing the critics, he 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.
Paul went on to say he does not condone ‘violence, looting or breaking the law’, though he appears to have done the latter himself in his efforts to capture the protests on camera.
Similar demonstrations, mostly peaceful, have been taking place across the US as activists demand justice for the death of George Floyd.
Public information officer Sgt. Ben Hoster said Paul has been issued a summons to appear before an Arizona court in July.
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