J.R. Smith Seen in Video Beating Man Who Allegedly Damaged His Truck in L.A. Protests
The incident, which was recorded and obtained by TMZ Sports, shows Smith, 34, punching and kicking an unidentified white man as he laid on the ground in a residential neighborhood near the Fairfax area.
Eventually, the white man gets up and flees the scene, while bystanders can be heard begging for Smith to stop. The former Cleveland Cavaliers guard is then joined by his two friends, who pull him away.
Following the dispute, Smith spoke to TMZ and claimed that his actions were not racially-charged, but rather a result of the man damaging his truck's windows, which the outlet reported happened near the looted Flight Club sneaker shop.
"One of these little motherf— white boys didn't know where he was going and broke my f— window in my truck," he explained. "Broke my s---. This is a residential area, there were no stores over here. Broke my window."
"I chased him down and whooped his ass," Smith continued. "He broke my window. This ain't no hate crime. I ain't got no problem with nobody, nobody ain't got no problem with me."
"He didn't know whose window he broke and he got his ass whooped," he added.
As of Monday, Smith has not been charged in the incident, a spokesperson with the Los Angeles Police Department confirms to PEOPLE.
A rep for the basketball player did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Smith later appeared on The Pat McAfee Show and admitted he was "disappointed" with himself.
"When it happened, I was seeing red," he explained of beating up the man, adding, "I'm still disappointed with myself, even though people say I shouldn't be. ... For me, I'm 34 years old. I have 4 little girls at home. I don't want that image — regardless of the fact whether it was right or wrong — I don't want them to have the image of their dad being capable of doing that."
Smith has played in the NBA for 15 years but is currently a free agent, ESPN reports. From 2014 to 2019, he played on the Cavaliers, appearing in 11 total games last season, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
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Protests over racial injustice and police brutality started last week in Minneapolis when footage of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck, surfaced online.
While the Minneapolis police officer in the video — identified as Derek Chauvin — has been fired from his post and was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday, public dissent over racial inequality and police violence spread in over 30 major cities across the nation and escalated over the weekend.
Some of the protests resulted in looting and vandalism as tensions and emotions ran high, with many city streets and businesses littered with broken glass and debris.
Curfews were eventually enforced by several city leaders in an effort to minimize violence as some clashes between police officers and protesters turned hostile.