At this point, Shia LaBeouf has made the news more for his off-screen shenanigans than his on-screen capabilities thanks to a historic, and now continuing series of run-ins with the law. The 31-year-old actor has been in and out of trouble since as far back as 2008. In 2008, Shia was involved in a car crash where he seriously injured his hand, and law enforcement officials deemed the cause of the crash to be because LaBeouf had been driving under the influence of alcohol. And since then it hasn’t got much better; over ensuing years Shia has been involved in a dizzying array of bar fights or cases of disorderly conduct, many of which have landed him in handcuffs.
Only last week, on the 8th July, LaBeouf was arrested and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and obstruction in Savannah, Georgia. However, it is the expletive ridden and racially charged rant that he unleashed at police officers which has captured the public’s attention in recent days.
Shia LaBeouf has issued an apology after a video emerged of him using racist language towards a black police officer after he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly in public.
The Transformers star alleged that he was arrested for asking for a cigarette, but police reports state that he was using objectionable language in front of children and acting in an anti-social manner. The Savannah-Chatham metropolitan police department issued a statement elaborating on the incident, saying that, “he was told to leave the area and refused, becoming aggressive toward the officer”
“You are going straight to hell, bro” he said to officers in footage captured on camera.
“You especially, deputy” Shia then asserted, eventually adding, “cause you a Black man.”
Another clip showing Shia in the back of the police car shows the beginning of the star’s tirade, “what the f**k did I do, sir?” he began, continuing:
“Who you fighting for? You’ve got a president who don’t give a s*** about you and you’re stuck in a police force that don’t give a f*** about you so you want to arrest white people who give a f***? Who ask for cigarettes?”
But it is when LaBeouf enters the police station that his rant becomes offensive, to the point of being racist. In the TMZ video, Shia can be seen jeering and provoking the deputies by saying things such as, “hey, when you go home to your wife, what do you tell her at night? You know she watches porn . . . likes looking at Black d***.” Ironically, all the while, LaBeouf had maintained that the officers had been racist towards him – for being a white man.
The actor who’s struggles with addiction have been publicised, published an apology on his Twitter account wherein he states that he has “hit rock bottom”:
In the statement, Shia admitted that he was “deeply ashamed” of his behaviour towards the police officers, and he chalks his actions down to his longstanding issues with addiction. Further, he confesses that he now believes that he needs to seek help, adding “I am actively taking steps toward securing my sobriety”.
This is not the first time that Shia has been reprimanded by law enforcement this year. He was arrested in January after having a dispute with a man regarding differing political opinions at the site of his art project, #HeWillNotDivideUs.
LaBeouf’s tirade certainly does come as a surprise given his recent impassioned response to Donald Trump’s presidency, and in particular the rigid stance that his administration is taking in regards to immigration. It just goes to show that being a liberal, informed and “politically correct” citizen doesn’t mean that someone is completely rid of inherent racial prejudices or even incapable of enacting racial discrimination.