YouTuber Jake Paul has denied that he was partaking in looting and rioting in Scottsdale, Arizona, after videos of him and his team went viral on social media.
On May 31, the younger of the two Paul brothers was seen in videos with other would-be protesters, as fireworks were set off and a storefront was broken into in Scottsdale's Fashion Square.
Despite accusations being made on Twitter, it was difficult to determine Jake Paul's role in the disturbances, and he has now posted a statement denying any wrongdoing.
"Neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism," his statement reads. "We spent the day doing our part to peacefully protest one of the most horrific injustices our country has ever seen."
He also claims that they were tear-gassed and "forced to keep moving on foot." He also says his team filmed everything "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."
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) May 31, 2020
"I don't condone violence, looting or breaking the law" he continued.
His statement did little to ease the scrutiny however, as a video was shared showing an unknown individual taking a bottle from a store and passing it off to Paul.
Responses to his tweet highlighted this video, calling Jake a liar. Comedian Elijah Daniel was among those bringing up the incident with the allegedly stolen bottle.
You are on camera with a bottle of vodka looted from a PF Chang’s.
— elijah daniel (@elijahdaniel) May 31, 2020
YouTuber MistaPreda was also critical, saying Paul should have been nowhere near the disturbances in Arizona, calling it "clownery."
you’re completely full of shit. grow the fuck up, sit your ass at home, donate, educate, read and do some actual good instead of this clownery.
— Mister Preda (@MisterPreda) May 31, 2020
There was speculation that Jake Paul was filming the ordeal for the purposes of a YouTube vlog. Given the backlash he is facing however, that may now be off the table.