Riots broke out this past weekend at the Hot 97 Summer Jam at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey when state police troopers blocked ticket holders from entering the event. Angry people in the crowd threw bottles at the police troopers, who in turn unleashed tear gas upon the people in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
A spokesperson for the New Jersey State Police department said that people were trying to “illegally” force their way into the sold-out hip-hop concert, which featured Kendrick Lamar and Chris Brown on its lineup. The police troopers allegedly arrived in riot gear in order to stop people from climbing over fences and pushing their way through security. Police officers closed the gates to the stadium, at which point some unhappy ticket holders began to throw trash and bottles. Ten troopers suffered minor injuries.
An armored state police vehicle blared a piercing loud noise in an attempt to disperse the crowd. Police were also generous with tear gas and pepper spray. They arrested 61 concertgoers, claiming that all 61 of these people were trying to scale fences and push their way into the stadium. They face charges ranging from disorderly behavior to trespassing.
Photos on Twitter and Instagram showed large crowds, trash-strewn streets and barricades overturned in the parking lot. The uproar was about the fact that many of these people actually had tickets to attend the concert. The tickets to Summer Jam 2015 cost hundreds of dollars.
“A small group of highly disruptive people ruined this concert for many others,” explained the police spokesman. “They created a danger to ticket-holders, stadium employees, and troopers on the scene. Our troopers took the appropriate steps to restore order to what was a brief and volatile situation,” Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said in a statement.
The 61 arrests made this year is only a small increase from the same event last year, during with 51 people were arrested. The question of whether disappointed concert attendees will be reimbursed for their tickets has yet to be resolved.
Summer Jam is one of the only summer festivals in the region to celebrate hip hop music, as opposed to EDM.
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