YouTube star Jake Paul seen at Saturday’s unrest in Scottsdale
PHOENIX — YouTube star Jake Paul was captured on video Saturday night at a riot at Scottsdale Fashion Square where multiple businesses were damaged.
The 23-year-old was seen on social media (viewer discretion is advised) observing while windows at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro were being smashed. He was also seen inside the mall as other looters vandalized the stores.
The mall closed at 5 p.m. and the incident began at 10 p.m.
Saturday night was the third consecutive night in which protests took place in the Valley in response to Monday’s death of Minnesotan George Floyd and Arizonan Dion Johnson who were killed at the hands of law enforcement.
After generally peaceful protests in the day, things turned violent as the night went on.
Paul, who has 20.1 million subscribers on YouTube, posted a statement on his personal Twitter denying engagement in any looting or vandalism.
“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,” said Paul, who added he was spending the day peacefully protesting. “We were strictly documenting, not engaging.”
Paul stated he doesn’t condone violence, breaking the law or looting, but did say he understands the anger and frustration that led to the destruction.
“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.”
Scottsdale police declared the gathering to be an unlawful assembly just before 11 p.m. and announced in a press release on Sunday that 12 arrests were made in connection with the criminal activity.
The mall and surrounding area were closed on Sunday due to the damage.