The YouTuber insists he did not engage in any looting or vandalism.
Local news affiliate ABC 7 reports that law enforcement said the YouTube star "was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by police." Paul is being charged with two misdemeanors, criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly.
After news broke that he had been charged, Paul tweeted: "Gimme my charges and let’s put the focus back on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter."
On Sunday, Paul issued a statement in response to the backlash that occurred after a video surfaced of him amid looters. The footage showed people vandalizing a P.F. Chang's restaurant at the Fashion Square mall, and Paul was also seen walking inside the shopping center as more looting took place.
The 23-year-old YouTuber had participated in a protest over the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 after a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, pinned him down by the neck for eight minutes.
"Neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism," he wrote. "For context, we spent the day doing our part to peacefully protest one of the most horrific injustices our country has ever seen, which led to us being tear-gassed for filming the events and brutality that were unfolding in Arizona."
Paul continued, "We were gassed and forced to keep moving on foot. 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; we were strictly documenting, not engaging."
Further defending himself, he added, "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."
In the wake of the deaths of Floyd and Breonna Taylor, celebs have been using their platforms to speak out about police brutality. Some, like Chrissy Teigen, Seth Rogen and Steve Carell, have donated money to help bail out protesters, while others, like Ariana Grande, Halsey and Emily Ratajkowski, have joined the protests themselves.