Police Increase Presence For BET Awards, Secure Perimeter of Shrine Auditorium
With hip-hop related shootings and incidents at an all-time high, the LAPD is taking precautions to insure that tonight's award ceremony takes place without a hitch.
"We have an increased amount of officers assigned to the event, mostly on the perimeter," Sergeant Phelps of L.A.'s South Bureau station, said. "There are security detail at the Shrine. There is a large amount of security assigned. Uniformed officers are outside."
Violence has become common at hip-hop events and awards shows over the last few years. Just last month, a man was stabbed to death while another suffered gun shot wounds during a hip-hop party at Miami's Club Metropolis during Memorial Day Weekend.
In August 2005, Suge Knight was shot in the leg during Kanye West's pre-MTV Video Music Awards party at Miami, FL's ClubShore. Knight eventually recovered. Back in November 2004, legendary producer Dr. Dre was sucker punched moments before accepting a lifetime achievement award at the Vibe Awards in L.A. The attack sparked a melee in which G-Unit's Young Buck allegedly stabbed Dre's assailant. The attacker, Jimmy James Johnson, survived, but was later sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to the assault.
Though the 3rd annual BET Awards went smoothly, authorities detained 10 men allegedly affiliated with Snoop Dogg on possible weapons violations charges prior to the BET Awards back in 2003. Lastly, in 2000, The Source Awards were shut down following a massive brawl at Los Angeles' Pasadena Civic Auditorium. When the smoke cleared, DJ Quik was briefly arrested and detained, but later released without charges. Meanwhile, E-40 was believed to be involved in the melee. Witnesses also said that Krazie Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was injured in the fight.
In addition to a history of violence at award shows, authorities likely fear hip-hop's current climate as the community has seen several shootings, some fatal, since the year began.
Obie Trice was shot in the face during a road rage incident in Detroit, MI during New Year 's Eve 2005. Obie survived the attack. Barely a month later, Busta Rhymes' bodyguard, Israel Ramirez, was gunned down on the set of the "Touch It" remix video in Brooklyn, NY. In April, Proof of D12, was killed in a bar on 8 mile road near Detroit. Houston rapper Big Hawk was also fatally shot on his way to a friend's home in Houston, TX.