YouTube Star Embroiled in Controversy Over Looting Video

Jake Paul says he was just protesting, not vandalizing or looting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2020 3:33 AM CDT
YouTube Star Embroiled in Controversy Over Looting Video
A logo hangs from the ceiling in the YouTube Space LA offices production equipment room Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

YouTube star Jake Paul on Sunday denied reports that he participated in looting an Arizona mall during protests against the death of George Floyd. The Guardian reports Paul was seen on video at the mall Saturday night as rioters looted and vandalized it. Forbes says some of the footage was actually recorded and shared by Paul's own videographer, though it has since been taken down. Paul, 23, insisted on Twitter that he was simply there to protest and did not take part in any looting or vandalism.

"I do not condone violence, looting or breaking the law," he wrote. "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." Forbes says it's true that the videos don't appear to show Paul looting or vandalizing, though some showed him getting confrontational with police officers. Paul and his brother Logan, who have millions of followers, are known for pranks and stunts that highlight their "outrageous antics and bro-ish personalities," Rolling Stone said in 2018. (Read more George Floyd stories.)

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