Jake Paul has responded to claims of him looting during George Floyd protests in Arizona and insisted he was ‘peacefully protesting’.
The YouTube star denied engaging in any looting or vandalism and explained to fans that he had simply been documenting the events that unfolded during the protests to raise awareness of the anger felt in every neighbourhood.
Protestors have been demonstrating across the US, calling for justice following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, despite his pleas he couldn’t breathe.
Jake had shared videos of him present at protests in Arizona, where he claims he was tear-gassed.
Other videos showing Jake there, including one of him in a shopping mall where people were breaking into stores, led to fans accusing the star of being involved in the looting.
Sharing a lengthy statement to Twitter, Jake hit back at such claims, insisting he was there to ‘peacefully protest’ and document what was going on to raise awareness.
‘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’s videographer Andrew Blue, who seemingly posted the shopping mall video, before deleting it, had previously stepped in to defend Jake against claims of looting.
Releasing a statement to his Instagram story, he said: ‘Just for clarity, I am a videographer and my job is to document virtually everything.
‘We were strictly documenting the situation and doing our part to use our platform to raise awareness about this horrific event and the overall injustice.
‘Nobody with us was looting or vandalizing, but it was certainly tragic to see and while we understand the frustration, we don’t condone or support any behaviour like that.’
Celebrities have been calling for justice, following news of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last week.
Four officers involved in the incident were fired, and officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on Friday on suspicion of third-degree murder, meaning he has been accused of killing Floyd without prior intent, but with disregard for his life.
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