Footage posted on Instagram by Paul’s videographer Andrew Blue shows the YouTuber amongst crowds raiding a shopping mall in Arizona.
Other clips posted to Andrew’s Instagram Stories, since deleted, showed a man smashing the window of a car parked inside the mall, and individuals hitting the glass doors of a shop.
— 🚨Pescatore News Network #PNN🚨 (@JoshPescatore) May 31, 2020
In a video shared on his own Instagram profile, Jake said he was walking up a street when he was teargassed by police officers.
“These fucking idiots teargassed me. I don’t give a shit, bro.
“Look at them, pointing guns at me.
“Fuck you guys. Rest in peace, George Floyd. Fuck y’all,” he said.
The protests come after a black man was killed by a police officer placing his knee on the individual’s neck.
The now ex-police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third degree murder over George Floyd’s death.
In a statement on Instagram, Andrew said as a videographer, his job “is to document virtually everything”.
“We were strictly documenting the situation and doing our part to use our platform to raise awareness about this horrific event and the overall injustice. Nobody with us was looting or vandalizing, but it was certainly tragic to see and while we understand the frustration, we don’t condone or support any behaviour like that,” it reads.
Jack Dean tweeted: “Jake Paul (a white millionaire) using the BLM protests to loot for his own gain.
“Let’s hear the cunt out before we judge, maybe the guy just thinks BLM stands for Balding Lads Matter. In which case he’s within his right to protest that cause?”
It’s clear to see that some people aren’t even protesting anymore, they’re just being opportunistic now. Smh. The main message for all of this is getting lost…
— KSI (@KSIOlajidebt) May 31, 2020
Elsewhere, KSI said: “It’s clear to see that some people aren’t even protesting anymore, they’re just being opportunistic now. Smh. The main message for all of this is getting lost…”
Jake is yet to comment on the situation, and YouTube has been approached by TenEighty for a statement.
Update – 31.05.20: In a statement posted on Twitter, Jake says “neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism”.
He said: “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.
Jake goes on to add that he does not condone ‘violence, looting, or breaking the law’, but understands ‘the anger and frustration that led to the destruction we witnessed’.
“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.
“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,” he said.
Update – 04.06.20: Jake Paul has been charged by police in Arizona for allegedly taking part in a riot, The Verge has reported.
A statement from Scottsdale Police Department, sent to the American tech news website, reads: “Following the riots and looting that occurred on the evening of May 30 2020 at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, the Scottsdale Police Department received hundreds of tips and videos identifying social media influencer, Jake Joseph Paul, as a participant in the riot.
“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,” they said.
Jake has since been issued a court summons, and is expected to appear in court in a month.
The news comes days after the American YouTuber published a statement on Twitter saying ‘neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism’.