A Houston Grand jury has decided there will be no criminal charges over the Astroworld 2021 tragedy. They cleared Travis Scott and several festival planners of criminal responsibility for the deadly festival. The rapper’s lawyer, Kent Schaffer, stated that the decision confirms that Scott wasn’t responsible for the tragedy.
Several executives and promoters were also cleared of charges. However, there is still civil litigation to determine any civil responsibility on the organizers of Astroworld.
Keep on reading to learn more.
Travis Scott Will Not Face Criminal Charges
A Houston grand jury has determined there will be no criminal charges for the 2022 Astroworld disaster. According to Billboard, on June 29th, the grand jury cleared rapper Travis Scott and the festival organizers of criminal charges for the lives lost that day.
After almost 19 months of police investigation, the jury stated that attorneys hadn’t provided sufficient evidence to support a criminal charge. During the 2021 festival, there was a crowd stampede at the now-infamous concert that left ten people dead and hundreds of injured people.
Kim Ogg, the Harris County District Attorney, announced the jury’s decision at a press conference. She said the police had found and produced “every piece of relevant evidence,” interviewed all the relevant witnesses, and viewed “thousands and thousands of hours” of videos from the festival.
Ogg added, “Our job is narrow. It is to determine if this tragedy, this absolutely disastrous, horrific event, involved criminal activity by anyone. In this instance, the grand jury found that no crime did occur — that no single individual was criminally responsible.”
‘Travis Scott Is Not Responsible For The Astroworld Tragedy’
Scott’s lawyer, Kent Schaffer, released a statement to Billboard after the jury’s decision became public news. He said that the decision “confirms what we have known all along – that Travis Scott is not responsible for the Astroworld tragedy.”
Schaffer stated that the decision aligns with the “investigative reporting by numerous media outlets and federal and state government reports that have squarely placed the onus for event safety crises on organizers, operators and contractors — not performers.”
He added, “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.” Schaffer concluded by saying the focus should now be on ensuring tragedies like Astroworld don’t happen again.
Senior Astroworld Organizers In The Clear From Criminal Charges
According to Ogg’s statements, the grand jury also cleared other senior Astroworld figures from criminal responsibility. These include freelance operations manager Brent Silberstein, Live Nation security executive John Junell, Shawna Boardman, and Seyth Boardman, who represented crowd management company Contemporary Services Corporation.
There was also Emily Ockenden, the executive from operations company BWG, who was the emergency contact for the festival. The charges being cleared by the Grand jury is a big win for Scott and these officials, but they still have to face civil liability trials for the damage caused by the tragedy.
There Are Still Over 400 Civil Lawsuits By Alleged Astroworld Victims
There have been over 400 suits filed by thousands of alleged victims against Scott and the festival’s organizers. The suits claim that the rapper and organizers were grossly negligent in their planning and event execution. These cases have now been combined into a large class action, which is seeking billions of dollars in damages.
The civil proceedings are currently at the discovery stage, which is a lengthy court process. At this stage, both parties present their evidence for the opponents and take depositions from witnesses and key figures. There will eventually be multiple trials for the case, but these types of civil litigations often lead to large financial settlements.
During the press conference, Ogg spoke about the civil suit and said it was completely different from the criminal investigation and the grand jury’s decision. She said, “What will happen in courts where they practice civil law, is not for us to determine.”