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Rapper Travis Scott avoids charges over Texas crowd crush

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29 June (Reuters) – A Texas grand jury on Thursday found five people, including rapper Travis Scott, over a 2021 music festival mob riot that killed 10 people and injured thousands. The prosecutor’s office said it had declined criminal charges against him.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said the grand jury is the culmination of a 19-month investigation into the tragedy at Scott’s Astroworld festival in November 2021.

“Our investigators and prosecutors did everything in their power to help the grand jury get to the truth,” Ogg said.

Scott’s attorney, Kent Shaffer, said the investigation confirmed that Scott was not responsible for the tragedy at the festival.

“Now that this chapter is over, I hope the government will work on what is most important to ensure that future heartbreaking tragedies like Astroworld never happen again,” Schaefer said in a statement. .

Five others, including Live Nation festival manager Brent Silverstein, were also acquitted.

“Brent did everything in his power to keep the festival running safely,” said Christopher Downey, Silverstein’s attorney.

Lawyers for the remaining people were not immediately reachable on Thursday.

The investigation was sparked by a flood of fans at Houston’s Astroworld, where thousands were injured as Scott took to the stage to overrun the crowd. Ten people died from compression asphyxiation, including a 10-year-old boy.

The tragedy has sparked a flurry of lawsuits against Scott and festival organizers, including entertainment giant Live Nation (LYV.N), which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010.

Plaintiffs allege that Scott, Live Nation and more than 20 other defendants let too many people into the venue despite knowing the risks because they wanted the concert to be sold out. claim.

At least 4,900 fans were injured, according to lawyers representing victims in lawsuits against Scott and the organizers.

These cases are consolidated in the Texas state courts in a process known as multi-district litigation to streamline the rulings of similar cases.

The family of one of the murdered people settled with Scott, Live Nation and others on undisclosed terms in October 2022.

Other lawsuits are also pending, including one brought by the family of a 10-year-old boy who was murdered.

Reported by Jack Queen and Mike Spector of New York.Editing: Amy Stevens, Lisa Shoemaker, Daniel Wallis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Mike Spector

thomson Reuters

Mike Spector is a Reuters correspondent covering corporate crises ranging from bankruptcies, large tort lawsuits and government investigations. He was the first to expose plans for Johnson & Johnson to file for bankruptcy, claiming the company’s iconic baby powder caused cancer. In a series of investigative series, he later explored how J&J and other corporations and nonprofits used bankruptcy law to escape liability for lawsuits over lethal products and sexual abuse, while he himself found himself in Chapter 11. I clarified how I was avoiding the application. Mike also contributed to the award-winning Reuters series on the prevalence of secrecy in American courtrooms that conceal evidence of lethal products. Mike previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, where he worked on the paper’s mergers and acquisitions team covering bankruptcy and private equity, as well as the auto industry. He was part of the award-winning team covering the government-mediated bailout and bankruptcy of General Motors. Insider trading and related bankruptcy bond trading issues. And new concerns about Tesla’s self-driving car technology. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism and Johns holds a bachelor’s degree from Hopkins University.

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