Music FestivalsNews

Travis Scott Will Not Face Criminal Charges In Astroworld Tragedy

Rapper Travis Scott will not face criminal charges for the deaths and injuries that resulted from the Astroworld tragedy.

District Attorney Kim Ogg confirmed last week that a Texas grand jury has declined to indict Scott as part of a criminal investigation into a fatal crowd surge at 2021’s Astroworld festival in Houston, leaving 10 dead and hundreds more with injuries.

The grand jury also decided not to indict other key figures involved in the planning and production of the event including chief of security John Junnell and festival director Brett Silberstein. 

“In this instance, the grand jury of the 228th District Court of Harris County found that no crime did occur, that no single individual was criminally responsible,” Ogg said.

According to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, the victims of the tragedy died of compression asphyxia, struggling to breathe as the crowd rushed the stage in anticipation of Scott’s performance. 

The youngest victim was nine years old and despite the decision against criminal charges, multiple civil lawsuits have been filed against Scott, organizers, and entertainment giant Live Nation—all three have denied allegations that negligence in planning of the event contributed to the deaths.

“It is tragic that 10 innocent people were killed while trying to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment, something many of us do routinely and without a second thought to our safety. But a tragedy isn’t always a crime, and not every death is a homicide,” Ogg said. “This grand jury’s determination has no impact on the many civil lawsuits pending.”

Though there has been much speculation as to whether Scott was aware of crowd conditions at the time, Scott’s attorney Kent Schaffer contends that Scott is innocent.

“Criminally speaking there is no case,” he told CNN last week.

Ted Anastasiou, a spokesperson for Scott, also told CNN, “While waiting patiently for the District Attorney’s decision to not file charges, Travis Scott has been inaccurately and wrongly singled out, despite stopping the show three separate times and being unaware of the events as they were unfolding.”

“Now that this chapter is closed, we hope for the government’s efforts to focus on what is most important – stopping future heartbreaking tragedies like Astroworld from ever occurring again,” Anastasiou said.

According to Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner, HPD will release the complete criminal offense investigation in the coming weeks.

Featured image credit: Amy Price.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University who loves beeps and boops!

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