HOUSTON (AP) – Lawyers for some of the dead and injured at last year’s Astroworld music festival alleged in court on Monday that rapper Travis Scott violated a gag order issued in lawsuits filed in an effort to influence potential jurors and rebuild your. reputation before a possible trial.
At issue is an announcement Scott made earlier this month about the HEAL Project, a $ 5 million initiative that includes funding for an effort to address security challenges for large-scale festivals and events. Houston police and federal officials investigated whether Scott, the concert promoter Live Nation, and others had put in place sufficient security measures.
“My team and I created the HEAL Project to take the necessary steps to support real solutions that make all events the safest spaces possible. I will always honor the victims of the Astroworld tragedy who remain in my heart forever,” Scott wrote. earlier this month on Instagram after the initiative was announced.
But Bob Hilliard, one of the lawyers representing the family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest person to die from injuries during the festival, said during a court hearing Monday that Scott used the power of his social media presence to approach a concert. security, one of the issues in the lawsuits.
State District Judge Kristen Hawkins said earlier that lawyers could report to the media on factual issues that arise in court, but she did not want lawyers or others to present their cases in public opinion court and possibly influence the group. of the jury.
Scott’s actions “did and did affect the power of his order,” Hilliard told Hawkins, who oversees nearly 500 lawsuits after 10 people were killed and hundreds more injured during a mass rally at the May 5 concert. November led by Scott.
Stephen Brody, one of Scott’s lawyers, said the rapper’s announcement about the initiative, which included scholarship funding, did not violate the gag order. Scott’s lawyers argued that any effort to prevent him from talking about this or any other matter would be a violation of his constitutional right to free speech.
Such charitable efforts “have been a constant in your life” and “suggesting in some way that talking about such charitable initiatives … violates the advertising order … is certainly not something that resists scrutiny,” Brody said.
During the hearing, ABC News’ lawyers also told Hawkins that they believed the gag order was preventing journalists from being able to report enough on the lawsuits as some lawyers even hesitated to talk about factual issues discussed in court or in documents.
Other lawyers in the case told Hawkins that they were working to find an agreement on changing the gag order and that they could have a solution to these different concerns and that they could come to it in a couple of weeks.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what proposals come up,” Hawkins said.
The dead in the concert were between 9 and 27 years old. Approximately 300 people were injured and treated on the spot, and 25 were taken to hospitals. The dead died of compression suffocation.
Travis Scott accused of violating the gag order of Astroworld costumes
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