Jake Paul, a high-profile YouTube creator and digital influencer, was officially charged by police in Scottsdale, Arizona with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly after he was spotted video among a crowd of looters at a local mall over the weekend.
“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,” the Scottsdale Police Department said in a tweet Thursday.
Paul claims that he nor anyone else he was with was engaged in looting or vandalism, and that his group was tear gassed by police.
“We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we raveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging,” Paul said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“I do not condone violence, looting, or breaking the law; however I understand the anger and frustration that led to the destruction we witnessed,” he added. “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.”
The 23-year-old YouTuber had participated in a protest over the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 after a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, kept his knee on his neck for eight minutes.
Here’s that video: