Shia LaBeouf Arrested During Protest Live Stream in NYC
Update: While LaBeouf has been released following his arrest, the hashtag #FreeShia is trending on Twitter as of 12:30 EST — with supporters wondering why the Jewish actor is being blasted by critics for confronting white supremacists who approach him (particularly given that history tends to remember resistance against racist oppressors favorably, and those who said "relax, this is fine!" until things escalated less so).
A video initially shared by The Guardian shows the altercation that allegedly resulted in LaBeouf's arrest, in which a man says, "Hitler did nothing wrong."
When LaBeouf shoves him away in reaction, the man says, "hey, why'd he attack me?"
Check out a few #FreeShia reactions at the bottom of this post.
Actor, performance artist and activist Shia LaBeouf was arrested in New York City early Thursday morning (January 26) for allegedly attacking a 25-year-old man at his divisive "He Will Not Divide Us" live-streamed demonstration.
LaBeouf was apprehended after a verbal exchange with a man present at the actor's live stream, which he has conducted in front of the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens since the morning of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration on January 20 and plans to continue for the next four years. The 25-year-old got into a verbal exchange with LaBeouf, who then reportedly pulled on the man's scarf.
"Shia took umbrage with this individual for whatever reason, pulling the scarf that was around his head and neck area and in the course of doing so, scratched his face. Shia also pushed this individual. This individual sustained visible injuries, scratches to his face," an NYPD spokesperson told ET.
The American Honey star was arrested and has since been released, NYPD Detective Christopher Pisano told CNN. LaBeouf may have been charged with misdemeanor assault and a harassment violation, ET reports.
While police say it's unclear what the 25-year-old man said to LaBeouf to spark the argument, LaBeouf made headlines earlier this week for screaming in the ear of a young male white supremacist, which was caught on camera during the live stream.
In the January 22 video, the man walked up to Shia's camera and says, "fourteen," before proceeding to begin saying the Fourteen Words slogan coined by David Lane, a leader of white supremacist terrorist group The Order who died in prison.
"We must secure the existence of white people," the man said into the camera, before Shia loudly interrupted him with his protest chant, "He will not divide us," while others join in solidarity.
Shia's ongoing installation features a white wall with the words "HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US" on it and a camera. Visitors to the Museum of the Moving Image are invited by LaBeouf to participate by chanting the phrase into the camera, which you can witness for yourself in the live stream.
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