Over the last week, Jake Paul has been under fire for viral footage showing he and his entourage at a looting site. The footage was uploaded to Instagram by Paul’s videographer, Andrew Blue. The internet lashed out at the YouTuber, seen walking around the mall and recording the situation. Paul released a video on his YouTube channel in response denying his involvement in any destructive behavior. Instead, he said the desire to spread awareness inspired them to record the looting. Furthermore, his brother, Logan Paul, jumped to his defense saying he would never engage in looting or vandalism. Nevertheless, the authorities are presenting him with charges anyway.
Jake Paul faces misdemeanor charges
According to ABC15 Arizona, the police have taken criminal action against Paul. Reportedly, the influencer is charged with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly — both misdemeanor charges. An official told ABC15 Paul “was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by police.” While he will not be arrested, Paul has been summoned to court in a month.
#BREAKING: YouTuber Jake Paul has been charged with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly after video shows him alongside looters in Scottsdale. STORY: https://t.co/L5gwQ4sQcA #abc15 pic.twitter.com/5hlCK1dznU
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) June 4, 2020
Shortly after the official statement, Paul acknowledged his charges on Twitter. He tried to shift the focus from his charges to George Floyd and Black Lives Matter (BLM).
gimme my charges and let’s put the focus back on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter https://t.co/nwBZmsxFFz
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) June 4, 2020
Contrasting perspectives on the matter
As the news about Paul’s charges breaks, fans and the public show mixed feelings about the situation. A popular opinion surrounding the video was that it shows Paul’s clear attempt to exploit racial injustice and protestors for his own gain. On the other hand, some users say that while they don’t like Paul, they agree with his involvement and his effort to take the attention away from himself. Paul’s history of inserting himself into precarious situations doesn’t make his case any better though.
Currently, there are no other members of Paul’s team that will be facing charges, according to a Scottsdale police spokesperson.