YouTube star Jake Paul denies allegations he looted LA store amid Black Lives Matter protest

YouTube star Jake Paul has denied allegations he took part in looting a store at a Los Angeles mall amid protests against the killing of George Floyd last night.

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The 23-year-old was reportedly filmed robbing the store with a group of friends

It comes after footage emerged on Twitter this morning purportedly showing the 23-year-old stealing and "trashing" a mall with his friends in Scottsdale, the Guardian reports.

"YouTube star Jake Paul and his friends were caught 'looting' and trashing property in a Scottsdale mall last night amid protests," the caption on Twitter read.

It comes after nearly one week of protests against police brutality was organised in cities across the country following the death of Mr Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this week.

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The 46-year-old died as he was being arrested by four officers, one of whom kneeled on his neck.

One of the officers involved in the attack, Derek Chauvin, has since been arrested and charged with his death.

"To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism," Paul said in a statement posted to social media today.

Paul said he and his friends had instead been tear-gassed for filming the events while "doing our part to peacefully protest one of the most horrific injustices our country has ever seen."

"We were strictly documenting, not engaging," he said.

"I do not condone violence, looting, or breaking the law; however, I understand the anger and frustration that led to the destruction we witnessed and 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.

"We are all doing the best we can to be helpful and raise awareness; this is not the time to attack each other, it’s time to join together and evolve."

Paul, along with his brother Logan, has been embroiled in a number of controversies, including using the N-word while rapping. 

The former Vine star, who has 20 million subscribers, gained widespread media coverage upon the release of his 2017 music video, It's Everyday Bro, which was ranked the seventh-most disliked YouTube video of all time.