Jake Paul was charged with two misdemeanor charges after being filmed among looters at an Arizona mall
Jake Paul has been charged with two misdemeanors — criminal trespass and unlawful assembly — following a May 30 looting incident at the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. However, the 23-year-old YouTube celebrity with over 20 million subscribers on the social media site, denied participating in the crimes. He claimed he was there only to film the incident and participate only in peaceful protests in reaction to the May 25 murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis policemen — all formally charged on June 3.
Here’s the deleted video pic.twitter.com/kBrD8SNMJu
— Mo (@mograsmick) May 31, 2020
According to multiple videos, Paul appears in footage placing him inside the mall after it had closed. While it doesn’t depict him actively stealing anything, at one point he appears to be seen being handed a bottle of alcohol possibly stolen from a PF Chang’s restaurant. However, the police report states it is unclear if he took anything.
In their statement sent via email, the Scottsdale Police Department said they “received hundreds of tips and videos identifying” Paul as “a participant in the riot.”
We've received 100s of tips in response to the events at @ScottsdaleFS. In our continued investigation it was confirmed that Jake Paul was in attendance & remained inside after an unlawful assembly was declared & has been charged with Criminal Trespass & Unlawful Assembly. pic.twitter.com/ySPmZT7ADv
— ScottsdalePD (@ScottsdalePD) June 4, 2020
“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,” it reads. “Paul also unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed.”
Sgt. Ben Hoster, public information officer, told NBC News that Paul will face his criminal trespass and unlawful assembly charges during a July Arizona court summons.
While Paul has yet to make a formal statement, he denied partaking in any wrongdoing in a Twitter post.
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) May 31, 2020
“To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone on our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” he wrote. “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.”
Paul continued to maintain 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.”
Paul’s brother, Logan, also a YouTube star has been actively protesting against social injustice since the devastating murder last month, attending peaceful protests in Los Angeles. However, he did admit that his brother was in the wrong.
“Jake didn’t loot,” he told TMZ, while carrying Black Lives Matter sign while protesting with his girlfriend, Josie Canseco. “Should he have been there? Absolutely f**cking not. But, my brother didn’t steal anything.”