New Jersey State Police blocking gates outside of a major hip-hop concert at MetLife Stadium had bottles thrown at them by angry people in the crowd who were trying to get inside—some without tickets—and they later used tear gas to try to disperse them, according to officials. Crowds at the Hot 97 Summer Jam concert became upset last night when the gates were closed and blocked off by police in riot gear. An armored state police vehicle began blasting a piercing loud noise to try to disperse the crowd, and police later deployed tear gas. Additional troops were sent for "crowd control" and arrests were made, a police spokesman tells the AP. State police didn't release details about what measures they used to disperse the crowd. The number of arrests and/or injuries wasn't immediately known.
The disturbance began when crowds of people tried to "illegally" force their way into the sold-out event—hosted annually by New York radio station Hot 97 and headlined yesterday by Kendrick Lamar, Trey Songz, Big Sean, and Chris Brown—by climbing over fences and forcing their way through security, state police said in a statement. Police said they insisted everyone outside of the gate leave the stadium complex to avoid congestion when the concert ended. Videos and photos posted by people on social media showed fights between concertgoers and police in riot gear blocking the entrance; images also showed cops using military-style vehicles to try to disperse the crowds. Emmis New York, which owns Hot 97, said in a statement that refunds will be offered for ticket holders whose tickets were not scanned. It said that "a small number of people created an unsafe environment, and for the safety of all guests, the New Jersey State Police were on scene to disperse the crowd." The gates to get inside were then closed and no one else was allowed in. (More New Jersey stories.)