Shia LaBeouf Arrested During Trump Protest
He allegedly assaulted a neo-Nazi who harassed protesters.
It’s been less than a week since Shia LaBeouf and his art collective have launched the livestreamed Trump protest HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US, and the participatory performance has already had its fair share of turbulence. Now, it has culminated in LaBeouf’s arrest, caught on camera and livestreamed in real time.
The actor and performance artist has been charged with misdemeanor assault and a harassment violation after pushing a man at the protest site who said “Hitler did nothing wrong.”
During the brawl, LaBeouf pulled the man’s scarf, scratching his face in the process, according to New York Police Department spokesman Sgt. Thomas Antonetti.
TMZ reported on his arrest on Wednesday evening, some 90 minutes after it had taken place.
Footage from the evening of Wednesday, January 25, shows policemen arriving at the site, outside New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image. After a brief exchange, LaBeouf positions himself in clear view of the camera while being handcuffed.
Protesters are heard chanting the mantra-like slogan “He will not divide us,” with one holding up her hand to the camera (perhaps to obfuscate the view) with a heart drawn on the palm of her hand.
Then, LaBeouf steps back into view with his hands behind his back. A police officer is holding him. He faces the camera and repeats, “He will not divide us.” The participants on site look visibly shaken, and one shakes her head in disbelief.
“Shia took a hit for us,” a man’s voice narrates the livestream. “There were all these Nazis here and he came out, and tried to protect us.” The policemen are then seen taking LaBeouf away from the site, while in the background, people can be seen capturing the arrest with mobile devices.
The livestreamed protest has become a site of harassment by neo-Nazis, and has been on NYPD’s radar at least since Monday, when a face-off between LaBeouf and a white supremacist troll broke out.
As police were on the site already, they were able to move in quickly last night and promptly arrest LaBeouf, who has been released as of this morning, according to a tweet posted on the project’s Twitter account.
According to a report by BuzzFeed, Trump supporters and neo-Nazis have been organizing harassment campaigns on internet boards, and have even launched an archive to document and identify protesters.
Protests are now continuing without LaBeouf. The work was launched this past Friday, coinciding with Trump’s inauguration, and is meant to last for the duration of Trump’s presidency. The first participant in the protest was actor Jaden Smith.
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