Actor Shia LaBeouf was arrested Wednesday evening during his live-streamed protest project against President Donald Trump. The Associated Press reports that LaBeouf was detained after he “allegedly got into an altercation with another man,” pulling the man’s scarf and scratching his face. The Guardian says the arrest was made on Wednesday evening.
According to the AP LaBeouf faces a misdemeanor assault charge, but it’s not clear exactly what the cause of the altercation was. It’s possible it involved someone attempting to provoke LaBeouf, with a fan account of He Will Not Divide Us project, @HWNDUS, shared a clip that allegedly shows the incident that led to the arrest.
In it, a man in sunglasses poses with LaBeouf to take a video together. The unknown individual puts his arm around LaBeouf and then says “Hitler did nothing wrong.” LaBeouf shoves him away and the man responds: “Hey, why did he attack me?”
A second video has also surfaced that shows a different altercation. In it, LaBeouf is seen dragging a man off camera by the hand.
Video apparently shot soon thereafter shows LaBeouf being taken away by the NYPD (around six minutes in):
The actor seems to have already been released from police custody, with LaBeouf appearing again in the live stream at around 4AM ET this morning. Rapper and performance artist Paperboy Prince of the Suburbs, who has appeared frequently in the live stream, later posted a video of himself and LaBeouf celebrating. “Shia LaBeouf is outta jail, we did it,” says Paper.
These aren’t the first incidents of their kind, with trolls making a concerted effort to disrupt the He Will Not Divide Us live stream. At one point earlier this week, an individual wearing a M43 field cap (worn by the Nazi Wehrmacht and SS) approached the live stream and whispered “14 88” into the camera.
These two numbers are code words among neo-Nazis and white supremacists. “14” refers to The Fourteen Words, a white supremacist slogan that reads: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The “88” stands for “Heil Hitler” as “h” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
LaBeouf responded by shouting “he will not divide us” at the man and attempting to block him from standing in front of the stream with his body. Some characterized the incident as a “meltdown” by the actor, while others noted that LaBeouf has a Jewish mother and identifies as Jewish.
The live stream started on January 20th with the camera mounted on a wall outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York. According to a website for the project, the stream is “open to all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” It will be “live-streamed continuously for four years, or the duration of the presidency.”
Earlier this week, LaBeouf told the AP that the project was about more than just opposition to Trump. “We’re anti-division out here. Everyone's invited," said LaBeouf. "I'm just saying, 'Be nice to each other.’”
Update January 26th, 2:05AM ET: Story updated with second altercation.