YouTuber Jake Paul has been arrested and charged by Arizona Police after being positively identified as a member of a crowd of rioters who participated in looting at a Scottsdale mall.

Like many protests across the nation in the wake of the death of George Floyd, what began as a peaceful gathering on May 30th in Scottsdale, AZ, slowly devolved into an outbreak of violence, looting, and rioting. Near physical center of these protests was the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, which quickly and unsurprisingly became a popular target for opportunistic rioters who took to causing property damage and looting the stores inside.

In videos posted to his social media accounts on the night of the riot, Paul can be seen at the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall observing the chaos unfold:

Paul cannot be seen actively looting or vandalizing any property, and the influencer has denied that “I, nor anyone in our group, was engaged in any looting or vandalism”, claiming that he and his team “were strictly documenting, not engaging.”

In a statement posted to Twitter, Paul wrote, “To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism.”

It continued, “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 us to 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 traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging,” Paul’s statement read.

He then wrote, “I do not condone violence, looting, or breaking the law; however, I understand the anger and frustration that led to the destruction we witnessed and while it’s not the answer, it’s important that people see it and collectively figure out how to move forward in a healthy way.”

Paul concluded, “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.”

Unfortunately for Paul, his social media videos were quickly reported to law enforcement, prompting an investigation by the Scottsdale Police Department into his presence at the riot.

On June 4th, the official Twitter account of the Scottsdale PD announced Paul had been positively identified as having been “in attendance & remained inside after an unlawful assembly was declared” and that he had “been charged with Criminal Trespass & Unlawful Assembly.”

In response to the newly filed charges, first reported by ABC15 Arizona, Paul asked that authorities “gimme my charges” so that the public could “put the focus back on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter.”

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  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is a contributing reporter for Bounding Into Comics. Unabashed anime fan, life-long comic book reader, avid video game player, and in need of a separate house for all of his figures. Trying to sift through the noise to bring the readers the facts.

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