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NYPD Commissioner Calls Rappers 'Thugs,' Blames Them For Shooting At T.I. Concert

William Bratton points to 'so-called rap artists who are basically thugs' after May 25 incident

The police have yet to make any arrests following a shooting at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza in New York City on Wednesday night, but NYPD commissioner William Bratton isn't letting that stop him from assigning blame.

"The crazy world of these so-called rap artists who are basically thugs that basically celebrate violence they did all their lives, and unfortunately that violence oftentimes manifests itself during their performances," he said during an interview on WCBS Newsradio 880 Thursday morning. "And that’s exactly what happened last evening. We should be able to wrap [the investigation] up very quickly."

The incident occurred shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, while Maino and Uncle Murda were onstage, opening for Tip. Three people were injured, including Troy Ave, and one person was killed.

Bratton continued:

This [rap] world has not reformed. It's unfortunate. The backgrounds a lot of these young people, they are significant artists in that world, if you will, rap, but unfortunately the lifestyles they lead, the lifestyles they came out of, oftentimes follows them into the entertainment world and the success they have in it.

You'd like to think that with all the wealth that comes to them, and the fame, they'd be able to turn their lives around, but they continue hanging out with the same people they hung out with when they came out of that world of desperation, poverty and crime.

Of course, this sort of "blame rap music" approach is neither new nor particularly productive. Bratton is retreading stereotypes to further his own preconceptions about a music with which, quite frankly, he seems to have little knowledge or real engagement. He would better fulfill his role as a public servant by focusing on finding the shooter and making an arrest than by making what essentially amount to victim-blaming statements like these.