April 3, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan
The Queens District Attorney’s office has dropped the assault charge against actor Shia LaBeouf, who got in to an altercation outside his performance art piece at the Museum of the Moving Image in January.
A spokesperson said that the District Attorney would not be pursuing charges against LaBeouf, who shoved a Nazi sympathizer outside of the MoMI at 36-01 35th Avenue, because there was not enough evidence to prosecute the case.
LaBeouf was due to appear for an arraignment hearing this week before the DA dropped the charges.
The violent incident leading to Labeouf’s arrest occurred outside the MoMI at a performance art piece protesting President Donald Trump called “He Will Not Divide Us,” set up by LaBeouf’s art collective, LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner.
The exhibit consisted of a camera mounted on the outside of the museum that encouraged passersby to repeat the phrase “he will not divide us.” The piece was launched on Trump’s inauguration day and was set to livestream for four years, or the duration of his first term.
The site became a flashpoint for violence, however, when hate groups began coopting the stream and several bomb threats were called in to the museum and 114th Precinct.
LaBeouf got in to an altercation with a man at the exhibit when the man put his arm around Labeouf while taking a video on his phone and said “Hitler did nothing wrong.”
Labeouf shoved the man and pulled at his scarf, and was issued a desk ticket to appear in court later this week, before the charges were dropped.
The exhibit was shut down in February and was moved to a museum in New Mexico, though it was shut down there as well after there were gunshots fired at the new site.
LaBeouf, Rökkö & Turner blasted the Museum of the Moving Image for “abandoning” them when the exhibit was shut down. The museum defended its decision, citing violence at the site, a threat to public safety, and the need for a constant police presence at the site.