Shia LaBeouf arrested after brawl breaks out at anti-Trump protest in Queens
Chris Sommerfeldt, NY Daily News, Jan 25 2017
Actor and filmmaker Shia LaBeouf was arrested after getting into a scuffle at an anti-Donald Trump art installation outside a Queens museum Wednesday afternoon, officials said. LaBeouf, who has had a series of run-ins with the law in the past, was attending an interactive installation he helped coordinate outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria when a “shouting match” broke out between two groups, according to cops. In the commotion, LaBeouf allegedly ripped someone’s scarf off, scraping that person’s neck in the process, police said. Officers responded to the incident and arrested the 30-year-old actor. He was still being held early Thursday, though it was not clear if he would face charges. LaBeouf’s part protest, part performance art installation went up on Monday and invites people to stand before a camera and repeat the phrase “He Will Not Divide Us.” The camera will be live-streaming 24 hours a day for the duration of Trump’s presidency in an around-the-clock protest against the newly elected commander-in-chief. The livestream captured LaBeouf being brought away by police in handcuffs around 1 am. It was not immediately known what triggered the brawl, but a video posted to Twitter could hold a few clues. “Hey, Shia!” a man wearing a hoodie can be heard saying in the video as he approaches the “Transformers” actor. As the two pose for a selfie, the man in the hoodie shouts, “Hitler did nothing wrong!” LaBeouf, who is Jewish, then appears to shove the unidentified man hard in the chest. The man shouts after LaBeouf as he walks off: “Hey! Why did you attack me?”
The #HeWillNotDivideUs Twitter handle claimed LaBeouf was the victim of a racist attack, tweeting early Thursday:
For those of you who don’t know what happened. Shia was attacked by a nazi. Shia got arrested. Nazi got away.
LaBeouf, who jumpstarted his career as a teenage actor on the Disney Channel series “Even Stevens,” has made commercial success in big production titles like “Transformers,” “Indiana Jones” and “Wall Street.” In recent years, the actor has pursued a variety of public performance art projects, but has also landed himself in a bit of trouble. In 2011, he was involved in an LA bar fight that resulted in the actor getting punched in the face, handcuffed and interrogated by police. Three years later, LaBeouf was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing after refusing to leave the Studio 54 Theater in Manhattan, while cursing and spitting at arresting officers. LaBeouf voluntarily joined a 12-step treatment program for alcoholism after the incident.