A misdemeanor lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles says negligence and lax security amid a large gang presence at a Live Nation music festival led to rapper Drakeo the Ruler’s fatal stab in December.
The lawsuit, seeking more than $25 million in damages on behalf of the rapper’s young son, named the festival’s organizer, Live Nation, the world’s top concert promoter, as the defendant, along with three co-promoters – Bobby Dee Presents, C3 Presents and Jeff Shuman – as well as Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Soccer Club, leased out their stadiums for the event.
Drakeo, born Darrell Caldwell, was preparing to perform at the festival on the night of December 18 when he was confronted backstage by more than 100 people, according to the lawsuit – “a violent mob of purported members of of Bloods based in Los Angeles gang.”
The attack “was the result of all the defendants failing to take proper safety measures to ensure the safety and health of the artists they invited and hired to their music festivals,” lawsuit said. At a press conference last week, lawyers for the rapper’s family called his death a “targeted assassination.”
A spokesperson for Once Upon a Time in LA, which is owned by Live Nation, said in a statement that the festival “joins Drakeo’s family, friends, and fans to grieve the loss of Drakeo.” him” and “continue to assist local authorities in their investigation as they pursue the truth. The company declined to comment on the lawsuit; The other defendants did not respond to requests for comment on the filing.
In recent months, Live Nation has faced criticism regarding festival security after 10 people were killed in crowds at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston in November. Astroworld’s lawsuit is underway, the House Oversight and Reform Committee has said it will Investigate the festival organizers.
At Once Upon a Time in LA, artists like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Al Green were set to appear on three stages. But the lawsuit argues that given the festival’s backdrop in South Central Los Angeles (one of the “most dangerous areas” of the city) and the purported criminal involvement of some of the artists in the bill. , it’s “very likely that the music festival will attract a heavy presence of gang activity.”
Drakeo, 28, is a rising star in the city’s rap scene who has collaborated with artists such as Drake, but is also a target of the Bloods, the suit said. In 2019, he was acquitted of murder charges related to the murder of a gang member; Following a plea agreement regarding additional conspiracy charges in the same murder, he was released from prison in November 2020.
“It has been widely known to the public that several members of the Bloods gang have refused to acquit and sought to assert ‘street justice’ against Mr. Caldwell in order to avenge his slain member. them,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit specifically cited an “ongoing public feud” between Drakeo and rapper YG in Los Angeles, though it added that there was “no evidence that YG had anything to do with the events” leading up Drakeo being killed. One rapper’s death account was published in Los Angeles Magazine last month by a witness and member of Drakeo’s entourage also called for YG’s presence at the festival and raised concerns from Drakeo’s family that the love rivalry had contributed to the incident. killing.
YG’s representative said he has not been questioned by the police regarding the incident, but declined to comment further. Los Angeles police have not announced any arrests in connection with the case, and the investigation is ongoing.
According to the lawsuit, Drakeo’s 15-person entourage was split into two smaller groups by festival security, due to Covid protocols, prompting the rapper to be accompanied by a personal security guard, who is not authorized to bring weapons air into the concert grounds.
An initial clash between Drakeo’s group and several others was followed by scores of others, “many in red and ski masks,” falling on the rapper, resulting in an “assault.” cruel and relentless” causing Drakeo to eventually die from a stab wound to the neck.
Promoters and security personnel “knew or ought to have known that Mr. Caldwell’s safety was at stake,” the lawsuit said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/arts/music/drakeo-the-ruler-live-nation-lawsuit.html The lawsuit against the living nation details the murder of Drakeo the Ruler