Crowd and police clash at concert featuring top stars

Crowd and police clash at concert featuring top stars
CONFRONTATION: Police officers confront Summer Jam spectators who were trying to get into the stadium.

Summer Jam was billed as a concert featuring top rappers and R&B singers, but the scene outside MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday night (yesterday morning Singapore time) saw an ugly confrontation between fans and riot police.

Trouble at the sold-out concert - which featured Chris Brown (inset), Kendrick Lamar and Trey Songz - started when people tried to gain access without tickets, and bottles were thrown during the clash.

There have been several arrests, and concertgoers said tear gas was used, causing people to scatter, reported Billboard.

Police in riot gear arrived at the scene and an armoured state police vehicle began blasting a piercing loud noise to disperse the crowd later.

A Billboard reporter at the venue spotted people trying to crash the festival after gates had closed, with some climbing the gates.

Police were seen chasing and pepper-spraying a number of spectators.

Amid all the chaos, some guests who carried tickets weren't allowed in from around 8pm.

WABC-TV Eyewitness News spoke with some concert goers who could only wait outside the gate all night.

Mr Niemi Hendrix said he spent more than $1,000 to be a part of the concert but missed it. He came at 3pm for preconcert parties, but when he tried to get inside at 8pm, he was denied entry.

Ms Janae Griffin, who drove up from Baltimore for the concert but wasn't able to get inside, said the parking lots outside were chaotic.

"People were throwing bottles across the crowd," she said. "We got into a confrontation with a guy who was deliberately trying to vandalise a police car and was just making it worse of a situation than it needed to be."

Police said they insisted that everyone outside the gate leave the stadium complex to avoid congestion when the concert ended.

Videos and photos on social media posted by people outside the stadium showed fights between concert-goers and police in riot gear blocking the entrance. Images also showed police using large military-style vehicles to try to disperse the crowds.

CONCERT WENT ON

But the concert went on despite the clashes. Many people inside the stadium didn't notice what was happening outside, reported NJ.com.

"Everything was so positive inside, it's unfortunate this happened outside," radio DJ Ebro said.

"The people that made it go sideways (slang for messed up), you're an idiot," he said.

"Throwing bottles at the state troopers, we don't like that."

"You're trying to ruin it for everybody," he added. "Shame on you."

The authorities have not revealed how many have been arrested or injured.


This article was first published on June 09, 2015.
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