Astroworld victims deserve justice

Zaynab Kouatli, Opinion Editor

University of Dayton student, Franco Patiño, attended the 2021 Astroworld Festival with his friend, Jacob Jurinek. However, while the 29-year-old rapper, Travis Scott, performed in Houston, Texas, on Friday, November 5, the crowd surged forward; this led to the death of Franco, Jacob and 6 other attendees.

Astroworld started off its third annual festival Friday at NRG Park with an estimated 50,000 people in attendance. The mass surge accident began around 9 p.m., just as Travis Scott took the stage. “And all of a sudden, people compressed up against each other and were pushing forward and backward. As the timer got closer to coming down to zero, it just – it got worse and worse,” Madeline Eskins, ICU nurse and concert goer, told CNN.

Many attendees fought for air, struggling to move out of the crowd. Bodies were pushed into one another causing no escape. Some attempted surfing unconscious bodies over the crowd to aid them to safety. Among all the chaos, Scott continued performing; In a video of the concert, which was later deleted, Scott could be heard telling the crowd: “I want to see some rages. Who want to rage?”

Scott shared his apology on twitter stating, “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.”

This is not the first time Scott has recklessly agitated his fans and put them at risk. Scott was arrested in 2015 after telling his fans to jump the barricades during his Lollapalooza performance and again, in 2017, for urging people to rush the stage at a performance in Arkansas.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner met with Scott and the rapper’s head of security to discuss his concerns regarding public safety. “In my 31 years of law enforcement, I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages, to include a global pandemic and social tension throughout the nation,” Finner said, “I asked Travis Scott and his team to work with HPD for all events over the weekend and to be mindful of his team’s social media messaging on any unscheduled events,”

Phone camera footage reveals a woman climbing on to a camera platform, shouting: “Someone’s dying in there!” moments after a man is shown screaming “Stop the show! Stop the show!” However, the show did not stop until 40 minutes after plea from cops.

What happened at the Astroworld Festival could have been prevented. Brianna Rodriguez, Rudy Peña, Madison Dubiski, Axel Acosta, John Hilgert, Franco Patiño, Jacob Jurinek and Danish Baig are all victims who deserve justice. They had dreams, friends, family, and people waiting for them to come home; there is no reason they should not be alive today.