*NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly is weighing in on the unruly behavior at a Drake concert Tuesday night that caused organizers to cancel the show before the rapper took the stage. [Scroll down to view footage.]
The city’s top cop puts the blame solely on Paper Magazine, sponsors of the event at South Street Seaport, who woefully underestimated how many fans would show up.
“The promoters were not sufficiently prepared,” Kelly said Wednesday. “They had the normal security detail … and it just was insufficient.”
Organizers told the NYPD they expected 4,000 people for the concert headlined by up-and-coming rap sensation Drake and featuring the pop band Hansen. The NYPD sent 19 cops to patrol the concert based on the estimate, police spokesman Paul Browne said. But a crowd of 25,000 fans packed the downtown plaza, erupting into a melee before Drake’s appearance.
“We are looking at how this was promoted and why they failed to anticipate a large group,” Browne said. “Could such a large gathering be safely accommodated? Maybe no, maybe yes, if there are other safeguards provided.”
Contrite promoters admitted they did not realize Drake, who was set to appear after DJ Ninjasonik and Hanson, would draw such a huge crowd.
“We increased the security for this year’s show and took precautions to facilitate a large crowd,” said Paper Magazine’s Drew Elliott. “That said, we were not expecting the numbers that did attend.”
Fans threw chairs and bottles, smashed planters and tangled with cops before NYPD got things under control. Two teens were arrested and released after their arraignments Wednesday night.
Shameek McBurney, 17, was charged with throwing a bottle and resisting arrest; 16-year-old John Harris was charged with disorderly conduct.