How do you define a riot?
Last Thursday Odd Future rapper Tyler, the Creator was arrested for allegedly inciting a riot during his SXSW set by requesting fans storm an already-at-capacity venue. Kids began scaling the wall of Austin's Scoot Inn venue—some even began dismantling it. The scene was chaos.
In a new statement, the lawyer to Tyler, the Creator told Associated Press:
"At no time during the ... concert did Tyler seek to incite or participate in riotous activity as has been reported in the press. 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. 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."
Following the incident Tyler, the Creator was arrested with bail set at $3,500, eventually raised to $25,000. If convicted, the rapper was looking at a year of jail time and a $4,000 fine. Tyler immediately secured a bond after spending less than a day incarcerated, and later that evening performing in front of a sold-out audience in Dallas.
"Tyler is not a violent individual and would never deliberately engage in any activity that would put another person at risk of being hurt," his lawyer said in the statement.
For our on-the-scene take on what happened at Tyler's chaotic SXSW set, head here.