10:10 AM PT -- Jake Paul has responded to videos showing him smackdab in the middle of looting that went on in Arizona Saturday night, and his explanation boils down to ... documenting, not partaking.
JP put up a lengthy statement on social media, saying he and his crew were trying to film the goings-on -- at which point he says cops forced them away, by gassing 'em. Eventually, he says he found himself in the middle of the mall break-in, and decided to capture all of it -- for his YouTube channel, no doubt, but also to shed light on the sitch.
Jake says he doesn't condone violence but also wants people to see what's going down so we can figure out a way to move forward.
Jake Paul was in the middle of a mall that was being looted Saturday night, and he's taking lots of heat for it.
The YouTube star was at Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona, and you can see in the video, the looters are stealing tennis shoes and pretty much everything that isn't nailed down.
You don't see Paul steal anything, but he's right there as everyone around him destroys shops and steals what's inside.
One of the most ridiculous comments on social media ... Jake is a millionaire, so he doesn't need to loot. That logic justifies looting for some, and that's just plain wrong.
Van Jones said it best ... most people -- regardless of color -- condemn the violence. To make things better, the folks who constantly turned a deaf ear to police brutality need to speak out as loudly, and maybe we can make some progress.