Kony 2012: Man behind Stop Kony movement arrested for lewd behaviour: Reports
Jason Russell, one of the founders of Invisible Children and the man behind the “Kony 2012” viral video campaign was detained by police Thursday for lewd behaviour, according to MSNBC and TMZ.
Russell was detained in Pacific Beach, San Diego Thursday night for being drunk in public and masturbating, according to San Diego Police Department. TMZ reports he was also detained for vandalizing cars.
The filmmaker who started the campaign about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is a father of two and former Christian missionary to Africa.
The 30-minute Kony video has been viewed by millions of people around the world, promoted on Twitter with tags that include #Kony2012 and endorsed by the likes of Justin Bieber and Oprah Winfrey.
Russell has been described as the mastermind behind the campaign and has become the face of the popular movement. He has been featured in international media in an effort to spread the word about Invisible Children’s efforts to get the U.S. government to take action in the central African conflict between Kony’s LRA and other countries in the region.
Prior to his arrest Russell had been acting strange, San Diego police told MSNBC. There are reports that Russell was running through traffic nearly naked. They report that he eventually removed his underwear and made sexual gestures.
“The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday,” said Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children.
“Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue. We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time.”
Russell, 33, grew up in a San Diego suburb and first visited Africa on a month-long mission to Kenya in 2000, he told the Toronto Star last week. He and three friends started Invisible Children, a charity that is part film company and part non-governmental organization in northern Uganda.
Invisible Children has been criticized for its approach to aid through video campaigns and questions have been raised about how it spends the money it makes through them.
“We’re really branding the International Criminal Court as the place to bring people that act like Darth Vader or Lord Voldemort,” Russell told the Star. “There are bad guys in the world and you are not allowed to get away with murder, and if you do, we’re coming after you.”
With files from the Associated Press