Houston’s police chief spoke with Travis Scott about safety before a deadly crowd surge left 8 people dead at the Astroworld Festival

Before rapper Travis Scott took the stage Friday night at his sold-out Astroworld Festival, Houston’s police chief had a “brief and respectful” meeting with him to discuss safety concerns.”I met with Travis Scott and his head of security for a few moments last Friday prior to the main event,” Chief Troy Finner said in a written statement posted Monday.

“I expressed my concerns regarding public safety and that in my 31 years of law enforcement experience I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens,” including a pandemic and nationwide social tension, 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.”The chief’s statement did not mention any response. The meeting was first reported by The New York Times. CNN has reached out to Scott’s representatives for comment.The concert devolved into a catastrophe after a crowd surge among the 50,000 fans ended with eight people dead.A civil lawsuit already has been filed against Scott, who organized the festival, along with promoter Scoremore and entertainment company Live Nation.

And authorities are investigating whether any criminal charges will be filed.That investigation “will take probably weeks, if not longer,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.He said it “will be looked at from many different angles … as it should be.”Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told CNN’s Jake Tapper that organizers had hired a private company to provide the medical services component but the fire department had prepositioned units based on their experience with other large events, including the 2019 Astroworld Festival, in which three people were trampled and hospitalized.Fire units responded, he said, as soon as the communications from the event staff indicated they were being overwhelmed.

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