While some are actively fighting via protest to end state-sanctioned violence and the systematic racism that has long fueled our justice system, others are taking advantage of this critical moment in time to just needlessly break shit. Many called out unreasonably wealthy YouTuber Jake Paul for the latter when a video surfaced of Paul with a large crow at the Scottsdale Mall in Arizona as it was being vandalized and looted. In the clip, Paul is identified numerous times by a person behind the camera as the chaos around them ensues, though he cannot be seen engaging in the destruction himself. The content creator denied any involvement with any actual vandalism; however, the Scottsdale Police Department saw enough of a reason to charge Paul with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly on Thursday.
Officials released a statement to The Wrap regarding the choice to move forward with the charges:
“Following the riots and looting that occurred on the evening of May 30th 2020 at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, the Scottsdale Police Department received hundreds of tips and videos identifying social media influencer, Jake Joseph Paul (23), as a participant in the riot. 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. Paul also unlawfully entered and remained inside of the mall when it was closed.”
Paul maintains that he and his crew were strictly there to document the unrest after a day of peaceful protesting. Both charges are considered misdemeanors, so the chances of Paul experiencing any actual consequences seem pretty unlikely. The influencer only had one oddly measured thing to say about this latest development: