Attorney says Odd Future rapper did not seek to participate in riotous activity.
Tyler, the Creator did not "diliberately" incite a riot that resulted in his arrest following a gig at the SXSW Music Festival last weekend because there wasn't a riot, his lawyer said in a written statement released to the Associated Press, Thursday (March 20).
"At no time during the ... concert did Tyler seek to incite or participate in riotous activity as has been reported in the press," attorney Perry Q. 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."
Authorities busted the 23-year-old rapper, legally known as Tyler Gregory Okonma, at the Austin-Bergstrom Airport for encouraging fans who couldn't get into his SXSW show to "force themselves past venue employees" and inside the Scott Inn. Tyler's actions resulted in "immediate danger and injury to persons," police said.
Tyler was slapped with a misdemeanor for inciting a riot and released after posting $25,000 bail. If convicted he faces up to a year behind bars and a $4,000 fine.
Further in Minton's statement, the lawyer calls out police for releasing video footage of the melee. In the recording Tyler is heard telling the crowd to push their way inside right before they barrel through the gates of the already packed concert. "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 said.
He goes on to explain that the intention of the Odd Future frontman was never to "deliberately engage in any activity that would put another person at risk of being hurt" as he is not a "violent individual."
While Tyler does not formally apologize, Minton maintains that his client understands the need for police presence at large concert events, and is "fully appreciative" of their service. He adds that Tyler did not mean to "disrupt that mission."
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(Photo: Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP Photo)