YouTube star Jake Paul took to Twitter to issue a statement on May 31 after videos showed him looting and vandalizing an Arizona mall.
“To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” Paul said in the statement. Rather, the vlogger claims that he and his friends were at the mall to “peacefully protest” and “[film] the events and brutality that were unfolding in Arizona” in the wake of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
“We were gassed and forced to keep moving on foot,” Paul continued. “We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging.”
Paul’s statement did more to anger people than it did to placate them. Many people even responded to Paul’s statement with videos of him and his friends seemingly taking part in vandalization and looting.
Online, fellow YouTubers are calling out Paul for refusing to take accountability for his accounts.
“You are on camera with a bottle of vodka looted from a PF Chang’s,” YouTuber Elijah Daniel wrote in response to Paul’s statement.
“F*** you Jake Paul,” Tyler Oakley said.
Jake Paul you’re a p****hole,” boxer and YouTube star Viddal Riley said. “No more needs to be said. F****** Prick.”
“You’re completely full of s***,” YouTuber Daniel Preda added. “Grow the f*** up, sit your ass at home, donate, educate, read and do some actual good instead of this clownery.”
Though people all across the country are peacefully protesting police violence and institutional racism, it appears that some folks have used this as an excuse and opportunity to cause chaos — and for the most part, those individuals appear to be white.
In the Twin Cities areas, for instance, the majority of arrests being made are of people linked to white supremacist groups, according to Courthouse News.
In Detroit, officials similarly found that although 80 percent of the population is Black, many of those arrested were white, according to ABC7.
If you want to help the peaceful protestors right now, here are some places you can donate right now.
More from In The Know: