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Police shoot tear gas to disperse New Jersey concert crowd

Police shoot tear gas to disperse crowd outside New Jersey concert; bottles thrown at officers

Police shoot tear gas to disperse New Jersey concert crowd

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) -- New Jersey State Police used tear gas to try to disperse an angry crowd trying to get inside a major hip-hop concert at MetLife Stadium, with some people throwing bottles at officers, according to officials.

Crowds at the Hot 97 Summer Jam concert became upset Sunday night when the gates were closed and blocked off by police in riot gear. An armored state police vehicle began blasting a piercing loud noise to try to disperse the crowd, and police later deployed tear gas.

Additional troops were sent for "crowd control" and arrests were made, a police spokesman, Sgt. Gregory Williams, told The Associated Press. The number of arrests wasn't immediately known. It wasn't immediately clear if there were any injuries.

The disturbance began when crowds of people tried to "illegally" force their way into the sold-out event by climbing over fences and forcing their way through security, state police said in a statement. Police said they insisted that everyone outside the gate leave the stadium complex to avoid congestion when the concert ended.

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

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 vandalize a police car and was just making it worse of a situation than it needed to be."

The major concert is hosted annually by a New York radio station and was headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Trey Songz, Big Sean and Chris Brown.

Emmis New York, which owns Hot 97, said in a statement that refunds will be offered for ticket holders whose tickets were not scanned. They said "a small number of people created an unsafe environment, and for the safety of all guests, the New Jersey State Police were on scene to disperse the crowd."


Associated Press writer Nicki Mayo, in Washington, D.C., contributed to this story.

Updated : 2021-09-19 21:30 GMT+08:00