Astroworld Festival 2021 HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 05: Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage) Erika Goldring / Contributor via Getty Images
Erika Goldring/Contributor/WireImage via Getty Images

News

Tuesday | November 9th, 2021

It’s Tuesday, November 9th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) Tragedy At Travis Scott Concert 

The Topline: Tragedy struck a music festival in Houston this past Friday during a performance by rapper Travis Scott. Fans were crushed when the crowd surged toward the stage, leaving eight people dead and dozens more injured.

Quote Of The Day: “It felt like we [were] in a concert in Hell. You couldn’t breathe. You couldn’t see, like just imagine all the people they’re going to find tonight who [were] in that crowd who nobody could see, who nobody could hear who passed out …”

Erika Goldring/Contributor/WireImage via Getty Images

The Tragedy

Around 50,000 people attended what was scheduled to be a two-day event. 

Earlier in the day, thousands of aggressive fans stormed the event gates, rushing past security and toppling fences and metal detectors.

As Scott took the stage at about 9 p.m., fans surged toward the front, creating a crush of bodies, leaving many unable to breathe.

A local fire chief said the rush to the front sparked a panic, and security personnel were overwhelmed. People started falling down, but the crowd kept trampling those under foot as some were screaming for help but couldn’t be heard over the music.

Police also confirmed reports that someone was injecting people with drugs without their knowledge. A security officer was injected in the neck with an unknown substance, but thankfully medical responders were able to revive him with Narcan.

In all, 8 people died, with the youngest 14 and the oldest 27 years old. Over a dozen are still hospitalized.

Travis Scott

Scott stopped the show a few times when he noticed emergency crews moving to attend to injured fans, but the rapper says he didn’t realize how bad the situation was.

Scott started the Astroworld festival in part as a charity endeavor. A significant portion of the revenues go to organizations that fund education programs for underprivileged kids.  

He’s said he’s “devastated by what took place,” and “Houston PD has [his] total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life.”

Legal Action

The Houston Police are investigating the incident, but no one has been charged with anything yet. 

Two lawsuits were filed over the weekend against both Scott and rapper Drake. Another had been filed against promoter Live Nation and the venue, NRG park.

One concertgoer who filed a suit said people “begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help but were ignored.”

Another suit is pointing to the fact that Scott was arrested after a 2015 Lollapalooza performance for telling fans to jump barricades. He was arrested again in 2017 in Arkansas for encouraging people to rush the stage.

Sean Krajacic-Pool/Pool/Getty Images

2) Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Continues

The Topline: The second week of the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial started Monday, with the 18-year-old arguing that he shot three men in self-defense during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. 

Quote Of The Day: 

“It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him, with your gun (and your hands down) pointed at him that he fired? Right?”

– Defense Attorney Corey Chirafisi

“Correct.”

– Gaige Grosskreutz, shot by Kyle Rittenhouse

The Case

On August 25th of last year — when he was 17 — Kyle Rittenhouse went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, with the stated intention of guarding businesses from looting and vandalism. Rioting had broken out in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white Kenosha police officer. 

Rittenhouse armed himself with a Smith & Wesson M&P15, an AR-15 style rifle, as well as a medical kit. Police said a friend of Rittenhouse purchased the rifle for him illegally. 

While Rittenhouse was patrolling the downtown Kenosha area, he was attacked and chased by protesters and ended up fatally shooting two people and injuring a third person. Rittenhouse and the three men he shot are all white. 

Rittenhouse is charged with several counts of homicide and attempted homicide as well as unlawful possession of a firearm. 

The Prosecution

Last week the prosecution made their case, calling a slew of witnesses, and the jury watched more than a dozen videos of the shootings and what happened before and after the shootings. 

So far, the prosecution has called several witnesses who gave testimony that appeared to bolster the defense’s case. 

One of them was Richard McGinnis, a video editor at the Daily Caller. McGinnis said Joseph Rosenbaum, the first man Rittenhouse shot, lunged for Rittenhouse’s rifle after chasing him across a parking lot. 

Another witness testified that Gaige Grosskreutz, the man Rittenhouse shot and injured, was holding a loaded gun and pointing it at Rittenhouse. On Monday, Grosskreutz himself testified and admitted during cross examination by the defense team that Rittenhouse only fired at him after he pointed his gun at Rittenhouse.

The Daily Wire On Location

Dave Hancock, a spokesman for the Rittenhouse family, said while it’s been stressful, the family is “staying upbeat.” He also said since the trial started, “a lot of truths are coming out right now.” 

The Daily Wire spoke to a shooting witness who said the second and third shootings happened about a hundred feet in front of him. He described how dangerous the situation became and said no one involved made a good decision that day, “not the law enforcement. Not Rittenhouse, not the armed citizens, not the protesters.”

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

3) Texans Vote To Amend Constitution 

The Topline: On Election Day, the people of Texas voted to pass eight amendments to their state’s constitution, including two measures designed to counter COVID-related mandates.

The Amendments 

Last Tuesday, Texans voted to pass eight proposed amendments to the state constitution.

One, Proposition 3, prohibits Texas (or a political subdivision of Texas) from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations. It would make it unconstitutional to use COVID-19 as an excuse to shut down religious services. It passed by over 63%.

Another, Proposition 6, establishes a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation. This passed by a majority of over 87% and allows residents of places like nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to designate one person who, under most circumstances, could not be stopped from visiting in-person. 

Other States

Multiple states have been exploring this idea in various ways. There have been bills which seek to protect houses of worship from stricter regulations than essential businesses, and bills limiting the powers of state officials when it comes to religious gatherings. 

Adding protections to the state constitution is a significant step, and other states might replicate it in the future.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images

Other Stories We’re Tracking

Battle Over “Let’s Go Brandon”

NASCAR President Steve Phelps is distancing the NASCAR franchise from the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” and has threatened to sue those who use the slogan on merchandise that also features NASCAR’s trademarks. Phelps stated the NASCAR franchise does not want to be associated with politics “regardless of whether we agree with what the position is.”

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