Jake Paul has been charged by Arizona police after the YouTuber denied allegations that he was involved in the looting and vandalism of a Scottsdale mall.
He has been charged with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly, both misdemeanors, Scottsdale officials said Thursday.
“Following the riots and looting that occurred on the evening of May 30th 2020 at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, the Scottsdale Police Department received hundreds of tips and videos identifying social media influencer, Jake Joseph Paul (23), as a participant in the riot,” police said in a statement to TheWrap.
“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.”
In a video posted Saturday night to Instagram Stories, Paul is heard saying, “Bunch of f—ing idiots, bro. Literally, I walked right here, right up to there. These f—ing idiots tear-gassed me. I ain’t doing s—, bro. Look at them pointing guns at me,” he says, pointing to the line of police officers.
The words “America is in ruins” ran over the footage. A subsequent photo showed a closeup of his eye, with the caption, “I’m teared gassed [sic] my eyes are bleeding.”
Sunday morning, Jake Paul posted a note clarifying what was seen in the video and his intention for being in the thick of the chaos. “To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone on our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” he wrote.
Explaining the context of what was seen in the video, he said, “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.”
He went on to say that he and his team were “strictly documenting, not engaging … It is important that people see it and collectively figure out how to move forward in a healthy way.”
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) May 31, 2020