Houston's police chief visited Travis Scott before Astroworld started to express concerns about crowd control
- Houston's police chief said he met with Travis Scott ahead of his Astroworld show to share his "concerns."
- Authorities and concert organizers worried about an energetic crowd, according to the New York Times.
The chief of the Houston Police met with rapper Travis Scott about crowd control concerns before his Friday show, at which eight people died.
Police Chief Troy Finner was worried about how the crowd would act at Scott's show, and so he met with the rapper in his trailer earlier on Friday, according to a statement from the Houston Police Department released on Twitter Monday.
"I met with Travis Scott and his head of security for a few moments last Friday prior to the main event," Finner confirmed Friday.
"I expressed my concerns regarding public safety and that in my 31 years of law enforcement experience I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages," citing the pandemic and social unrest as complicating factors.
Finner said the meeting was "brief and respectful."
-Houston Police (@houstonpolice) November 8, 2021
Both city authorities and the concert organizers expected a very energetic crowd, at least partly because of the anticipation built by the pandemic, and they prepared for months by hiring extra police officers and security staff for the event, according to the New York Times.
Despite the additional staff, the crowd started to surge during Scott's performance, authorities said. Eight people were killed and hundreds more were injured during the surge.
Scott is originally from Houston. The Times reported that Police Chief Finner knows Scott and thought he was "trying to do good for his hometown" with the show.
Both Scott and Live Nation, the event's organizers, say they will cooperate with the police investigation.
Scott continued performing for more than 30 minutes after police declared the festival to be a mass casualty event.
Videos from the event show fans breaking through barriers to get in, and at least one concertgoer dancing on an ambulance that was trying to move through the crowd to help the injured.
People who were at the festival told Insider's Joshua Zitser that pleas to festival staff to stop the show when the crush began were ignored.
Scott tweeted on Saturday: "I'm absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival."
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