YouTuber Jake Paul released a statement denying his involvement in looting after video footage of him while attending the George Floyd protests at Scottsdale, Arizona’s Fashion Square surfaced on Saturday, May 30.
“To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” Jake, 23, wrote via Twitter on Sunday, May 31. “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.”
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) May 31, 2020
He continued, “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. 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. 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.”
The content creator’s statement is in response to a video that circulated on social media. The clips were originally posted to Andrew Blue‘s Instagram Story, who is Jake’s videographer and photographer. Jake can be seen with others at Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona during the protests after Floyd’s death. While Jake does not appear to be looting in the footage, others around him can be seen breaking windows and shattering glass in the shopping center.
Shortly after the clips went viral, fans started calling Jake out for his alleged involvement. “Jake Paul, a millionaire, is looting a mall so that he could post a YouTube video about it and add more to his wealth. You can’t make this s—t up,” wrote one Twitter user. Another added, “Jake Paul has a $19 million dollar net worth and a giant platform consisting of mainly kids, and he’s out here looting whilst others get teargassed and beat? F–k off, he really isn’t s–t.”
Jake attended one of the many protests that took place in cities across America in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Protesters marched while demanding justice for Floyd’s death. The Minneapolis man, 46, died during an arrest on May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and 48 seconds. In video footage recorded during the incident, Floyd could be heard saying repeatedly, “Please, the knee in my neck, I can’t breathe.”
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