Jake Paul came under fire for filming looting at an Arizona mall, and has now responded to the backlash, saying he was simply documenting the activity.
Jake Paul has landed in hot water after he filmed the looting of an Arizona shopping mall, in the wake of George Floyd‘s tragic death. The controversial YouTuber responded with a lengthy statement on Twitter on May 31, claiming he wasn’t participating in any vandalism, but simply documenting it. “Neither I, nor anyone in our group, was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” he wrote, addressing the protests and outcry sweeping the nation, in response to the unarmed black man’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.
The 23-year-old went on to explain that he, and his crew, were involved in a “peaceful” protest earlier in the day, despite the fact the footage posted online focused primarily on vandalism and looting at Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona. “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,” he continued.
Jake then added, “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.”
He concluded his response by saying it wasn’t the time to “attack each other”, but rather join together. “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.” Jake isn’t the only celebrity who filmed the protests across the country on May 30.
Actor John Cusack posted a harrowing video from the Chicago protests on May 30, claiming he was “attacked” by police officers. The 53-year-old alleged he was simply filming the riots, incited by nationwide outcry from the Black Lives Matter movement, when cops appeared to repeatedly hit his bike with a baton. In the blurry video, which he posted to Twitter, a man could be heard aggressively yelling: “Get the f**k out of here! Go on move! Get that bike out of here!”