More than a year after he was caught on camera looting amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd, there has been a new development in YouTube star Jake Paul’s criminal case out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Paul was initially charged with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly, both of which are misdemeanor charges following the May incident, though following an investigation into the matter, he will not face any federal charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona confirmed to TMZ. The outlet reports that federal investigators opted not to prosecute the YouTube after their investigation didn’t find enough evidence to warrant charges.
However, it isn’t all good news for Paul. Although the YouTuber will not face any federal charges, the outlet notes that local authorities have decided to refile charges against Paul, representatives for the City of Scottsdale confirmed. Separate sources with knowledge of the situation added that after the City Attorney learned in May that federal authorities had completed their investigation and would not move forward with charges, the City Attorney re-filed the misdemeanor case against Paul.
The case against Paul dates back to May 2020, when he was seen on video recorded by his videographer Andrew Blue near a P.F. Chang’s by the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall as protesters took to the streets of Scottsdale in a demonstration against police brutality and systemic racism. In video footage, Paul could be seen entering the mall as others vandalized the shopping center and looted from the various stores. At the time, Paul had shared images to his Instagram Story showing police mobilizing outside of the mall and later claimed that he had been tear-gassed. Authorities later confirmed Paul’s identity and said he “was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by police.” They charged him with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly. The City Attorney opted not to pursue the case when federal authorities launched their own investigation.
Amid the investigation a raid was carried out on Pual’s Calabasas, California home as well the Graffiti Mansion in Las Vegas. According to a TMZ report at the time, weapons were confiscated from both homes during the raids, though it is unclear if those weapons were related to the Scottsdale incident. In response to decision not to file federal charges, Paul’s attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld said, “We are pleased that the U.S. Attorney reached the conclusion that no charges should be filed.” A response has not been issued to the refiling of local charges. Paul is scheduled to make a court appearance on the charges sometime after Labor Day, though an exact date has not been confirmed. If convicted, he faces a maximum of a year in jail.