Actor Shia LaBeouf charged with assault during anti-Trump protest

Actor Shia LaBeouf was released from police custody Thursday morning, after allegedly assaulting a man at his anti-Trump protest in New York City.VIDEO: REUTERS
US actor Shia LaBeouf (left) during his “He Will Not Divide Us” livestream outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, in the Queens borough of New York on Jan 24, 2017 as a protest against President Donald Trump.
US actor Shia LaBeouf (left) during his “He Will Not Divide Us” livestream outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, in the Queens borough of New York on Jan 24, 2017 as a protest against President Donald Trump. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Hollywood actor turned activist Shia LaBeouf was arrested and charged Thursday (Jan 26) after scuffling with a man during a live-stream protest against Donald Trump in New York, police said.

The 30-year-old star of 2014 movie Fury launched the protest on the day of Republican president's inauguration last Friday (Jan 20). It is being live streamed 24 hours a day, seven days a week outside a New York museum.

Come rain, shine or near freezing temperatures, the project invites members of the public to repeat "He Will Not Divide Us" into a camera mounted onto a wall outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

LaBeouf, who set up the project with artists Nastja Sade Ronkko and Luke Turner, has appeared repeatedly before the camera, rallying the troops outside.

But at around midnight, he was accused of grabbing a 25-year-old man's scarf, scratching his face and pushing the man to the ground, police confirmed.

Police, who happened to be in the area at the time, arrested the actor shortly before 1 am (2pm Singapore time), charging him with assault and harassment.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the alleged assault.

He has been released.

LaBeouf has had repeated run-ins with the law and in 2014 appeared in court charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct after disrupting a performance of Broadway musical Cabaret.

Since Friday, a steady stream of mostly young people and mostly those living in the area, have taken part in the protest to vent their frustration with Trump.

"The mantra 'He will not divide us' acts as a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism, guided by the spirit of each individual participant and the community," says the protest's website.

LaBeouf has said the protest will last the entirety of Trump's four-year term in office. Or until he steps down, which ever comes soonest.