Shia LaBeouf Is Arrested at Anti-Trump Art Show in New York
The actor and performance artist Shia LaBeouf was arrested early Thursday morning on misdemeanor assault and harassment charges while protesting President Trump at a livestream art installation in Queens.
In videos online, Mr. LaBeouf — who has a history of provocative behavior and a record of arrests for minor offenses — expresses outrage, evidently aimed at Mr. Trump, and uses expletive-laden language to ask how the public can make it normal “to be a Nazi out here.”
In one video, a small gathering of fellow protesters chants “He will not divide us” as the bearded Mr. LaBeouf speaks. A police officer approaches, and Mr. LaBeouf appears to get into a verbal altercation with him before the officer places him in handcuffs and escorts him out of the camera’s view.
Mr. LaBeouf was arrested just after 12.30 a.m. and charged with misdemeanor assault and with harassment, according to Detective Adam Navarro of the New York City Police Department. He was issued a desk appearance ticket and instructed to come to court on April 4. He was not jailed.
Detective Navarro said that the police were called after Mr. LaBeouf got into an argument with another man at the installation, pulled off the man’s scarf and, in the process, scratched his face. The man did not need to be hospitalized, the detective said.
The livestream is part of Mr. LaBeouf’s latest art project, “He Will Not Divide Us,” a collaboration with the artists Nastja Sade Ronkko and Luke Turner. On Inauguration Day, the actor placed a camera outside the Museum of the Moving Image, in Astoria, Queens, and invited members of the public to repeat the words “he will not divide us” into the camera. The aim is to keep streaming images of people repeating the words, 24/7, throughout Mr. Trump’s time in office.
Representatives for Mr. LaBeouf did not immediately reply to requests for comment on Thursday morning.
The arrest is not Mr. LaBeouf’s first dust-up with the law: In 2014, while at a Broadway performance of the musical “Cabaret,” he was arrested and later charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.
The actor first rose to prominence as a child performer on the Disney Channel television series “Even Stevens,” and in 2008 starred in Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
More recently, he has drawn as much attention for his unusual art projects as for his acting. In November 2015, Mr. LaBeouf arranged a three-day marathon of all of his movies at the Angelika Film Center in Manhattan. The next month, he set up shop in an art gallery in Liverpool, England, asking people to call him and “touch his soul.”