After performances from the likes of Meek Mill, Big Sean and Fabolous, Summer Jam attendees left MetLife Stadium to a disastrous sight. Trash poured from overturned garbage bins, empty shoes lied across parking lots and empty alcohol bottles rolled across the pavement as heavy police presence overlooked the scene.
This was the result of a clashing between state troopers and fans that took place outside of the venue. New Jersey State Police say that crowds were illegally trying to enter by climbing fences and pushing past security personnel. State troopers equipped with riot gear were called in and they used tear gas to subdue the approximately 1,000 people.
In an official statement, Hot 97 said that fans created an “unsafe environment” after realizing tickets would not be available at the box office. Ebro Darden, Hot 97’s Vice President of Programming and host, spoke about the chaos on his show the morning after.
“I think the people that got caught outside, if they don’t know, weren’t aware that the doors got shut for safety reasons,” Darden said. There was tens of thousands of people inside, and we didn’t want what was going on inside to be disrupted by a few people acting crazy outside.”
In a statement on Facebook, New Jersey State Police said 61 people were arrested and 10 troopers were left with minor injuries .Noise generators, pepper spray, and tear gas were used to disperse people who refused to clear the area outside of the main gate.
“A small group of highly disruptive people ruined this concert for many others. They created a danger to ticket-holders, stadium employees, and troopers on the scene. Our troopers took the appropriate steps to restore order to what was a brief and volatile situation,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
This year’s concert was staffed with more troopers. The department said troopers arrested 51 people at last year’s Summer Jam concert.