Providence, RI Allows Jim Jones Performance, Show Almost Canceled Due To Security Concerns
The tour, which kicked off Saturday in Charlotte, NC, features Jones, as well as rappers Lil' Wayne, Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Young Jeezy and Rich Boy.
According to The Providence Journal, police warned the city Board of Licenses during a public hearing at City Hall, where Detective Sgt. Michael Wheeler, leader of the police's street gang unit identified Jones as a member of the Bloods.
Wheeler said that the Providence metropolitan area is a haven for local Crip gang members. He warned the board that there was potential for violence, because of Jones association with the Bloods.
“[The show] presents an extreme threat to public safety…based on the propensity of the artists and their following to violence,” added police Lt. Timothy Lee.
Board member and State Rep. Gordon Fox, House Majority, leader, disagreed and he and other board members approved the license, but not without making it clear that security would be tight during the show, which takes place Mar. 29.
In addition to security officers and arena staff, a "small army" or police will also be on hand to maintain the peace.
Some board members hesitated because the show is being promoted by Lowell Williams, an 18-year-old music producer and promoter from South Providence, who has found local financial backers to put the event together.
Lawrence Lepore, General Manager of the Dunkin' Donuts Center, said that despite his age, Willams was capable of the running the show, which is being put together with extreme caution.
The artists arrive to the venue by bus and they are not allowed in the arena until about 10 minutes before their scheduled performance.
Additionally, the Dunkin' Donuts Center has banned alcohol sales for the evening. The board also demanded that each performer sign a binding contract, which bars any appearances at post-show parties at nightclubs.
Patrons will also be searched upon entrance by security officers with metal detector, while the performers will be searched at the backstage for guns and illegal drugs as well.