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Houston police chief debunks rumor about Astroworld security guard, who says he was not drugged but was hit on the head

 

Houston police chief debunks rumor about Astroworld security guard, who says he was not drugged but was hit on the head…  The investigation into the deadly tragedy at the Astroworld music festival could “take weeks, possibly months,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Wednesday.

Houston police chief debunks rumor about Astroworld security guard, who says he was not drugged but was hit on the head
Houston police chief debunks rumor about Astroworld security guard, who says he was not drugged but was hit on the head—-

Calling for public officials to refrain from speculation, Finner said investigators were focused on “timelines,” noting that festival organizers were informed that police were conducting CPR on victims while the show was still going.

In a subsequent statement to the press, Finner said he meant to add that “it was at that time our HPD personnel told personnel in charge of the event to shut down the performance.”

Speaking Monday, Finner also debunked an early, viral rumor that — one he himself had amplified: that a security guard had been “pricked” with an unknown substance prior to the “mass casualty event.”

“We did locate that security guard,” Finner said. “His story is not consistent with that. He said he was struck in his head and went unconscious.”

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“He said no one injected drugs in him, so we want to clear that part up,” he added.

Finner had earlier in the week asserted that medical staff had detected “a prick” in a guard’s neck similar to one that “you would get if somebody was trying to inject.”

No ‘special relationship’ with Travis Scott

At least eight people were killed and hundreds more injured after a crowd surge during the festival last Friday during a performance by headliner Travis Scott.

Finner said investigators had concluded there were “two mosh pits” near the stage.

A security planning document from festival organizer Scoremore indicates that employees were instructed to prepare for a number of emergency scenarios — but not the possibility of a stampede.

The Houston police and fire departments were both involved in the security planning for the festival, the Associated Press reported, with Chief Finner revealing this week that he had met with Scott himself before the fatal episode to discuss safety concerns.

In a testy exchange with reporters on Wednesday, Finner said that to him did not constitute a “special relationship” with the star.

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“That’s not a close relationship to me,” he said. “I’ve only spoken to him twice. So let’s put that to rest.”

Finner also denied there was a lack of police presence, telling reporters there were “around 530” police at this year’s festival, compared to 170 in 2018 and 240 in 2019.

He said it was harder to determine how many private security guards there were.

“The challenge is you have three or four security companies and some of their records are not good,” Finner said.

A lawsuit filed against Scott by five people who say they were hurt at the show accuses the musician of negligence, noting he played “for 37 minutes after Houston police and firefighters were called to a ‘mass casualty event.'”

“Despite the hellscape surrounding him, visible from his position onstage, Mr. Scott ignored cries for help from concertgoers and desperate pleas from his own fans,” the lawsuit states.

Citing the Houston Police Department’s role in providing security for the event, some local officials have suggested there should be an independent investigation. Finner said it’s too early for that, but said he would be open to it if the department’s own investigation reveals the need for it.

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“Where are we right now?” he asked. “We’re nowhere right now.”

Scott’s attorney pushes back

Scott’s attorney, Edwin F. McPherson, rejected Finner’s claims, saying that authorities are playing the blame game and spreading misinformation rather than effectively pushing the investigation forward.

In an email to Insider, McPherson cites Finner saying that a festival shut down could have resulted in a riot in a Saturday New York Times article.

McPherson also said, per the operations guide, “only the festival director and executive producers have authority to stop the show, neither of which is part of Travis’s crew.”

“Investigations should start proceeding over finger-pointing so that together, we can identify exactly what transpired and how we can prevent anything like this from happening again,” McPherson said.

 

 

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