Tyler, The Creator Didn't 'Incite Riotous Activity' at SXSW, Says Attorney
An attorney for Tyler, The Creator, says the Odd Future rapper did not incite a riot at a show during South By Southwest last week and would not deliberately put fans at risk.
Perry Q. Minton says in the statement released Thursday morning to The Associated Press that the events that occurred March 13 at the Scoot Inn in Austin, Texas, leading to his arrest do not constitute a riot.
"At no time during the ... concert did Tyler seek to incite or participate in riotous activity as has been reported in the press," Minton wrote. "It is clear from video clips and witness reports that the patrons and fans attending the show on that date were full of positive energy appropriate for this type of event and never exhibited any anger or aggression whatsoever."
Police arrested the 23-year-old Los Angeles resident on a warrant Saturday at the airport as he left Austin for a show he still kept later that night in Dallas. He was charged with misdemeanor riot and posted a $25,000 bond. Police allege he incited fans at an unofficial day party held during the annual music conference to storm the entrance to the club where he was performing. He faces up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine if convicted.
Minton said police, who released a video of scores of fans pushing through the gate at a club that was already at capacity, are overstating what happened.
"For law enforcement or the media to describe the rush of fans through the gate and the subsequent benign, boisterous activity as a riot is an unfortunate and inaccurate description of what occurred," Minton wrote.
Tyler does not apologize in the statement, but Minton adds the rapper, whose real name is Tyler Gregory Okonma, "fully appreciates" the need for police to protect citizens and provide security at large events, and did not intend to "disrupt that mission."
"Tyler is not a violent individual and would never deliberately engage in any activity that would put another person at risk of being hurt," he wrote.