Followers of Jake Paul have criticised the YouTube star after he denied looting during a protest – despite being spotted in footage of a shopping mall being vandalised.
Paul said he was documenting the action and engaging in a peaceful protest after videos showed him amid looters in Arizona’s Fashion Square centre, which is based in in Scottsdale.
“To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” Paul wrote on Twitter and posted as an Instagram Story.
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However, many responded with confusion, as one Twitter user highlighted the fact that Paul seemed to be “hyping up” the looters by “getting all excited” in the video.
“He literally tried to break a window of a car inside the mall and it’s on video – he’s just straight lying,” one user wrote.
Another said the YouTube star could be seen holding a bottle of vodka that they claimed has just had been stolen from a shop name PF Chang’s.
“The Black Lives Matter movement is NOT an opportunity for you to film a YouTube video and post it for revenue,” another angry tweeter wrote. “Saying you ‘don’t condone violence or looting”’ but then FILMING SAID LOOTING IS ENCOURAGING IT.”
Paul’s statement came as protests took part in numerous US cities following the death of George Floyd by police.
Hundreds of people looted the Arizona mall, and 12 people were arrested.
Black Lives Matter’s contingent in Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, released a statement saying it was not a part of the events.
Meanwhile, Lana Del Rey was forced to delete a “dangerous” Instagram post showing looters in Los Angeles following criticism from her followers.