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NYPD Commissioner Blames Rap Music For Irving Plaza Shooting

Bratton says rap artists are "basically thugs," during interview about NYC show shooting.

Tasos Katopodis // Getty Images

As previously reported, four people were shot inside New York City’s Irving Plaza last night (May 26), where T.I. was set to perform. In response, New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton threw the blame on "so called rap artists who are basically thugs."

In an radio interview this morning (May 26) on WCBS 880, Bratton made the starling comments, linking rappers to violent "thugs." "The crazy world of the so-called rap artists who are basically thugs that basically celebrate the violence they live all their lives and, unfortunately, that violence often manifests itself during the performances and that's exactly what happened last evening," he said.

The Wednesday night shooting at the Union Square venue left four victims wounded, including a 26-year-old woman, who was shot in the leg, a 34-year-old man, who was shot in the chest, and rapper Troy Ave, 30, who was also shot in the leg. The fourth victim, identified as Ronald McPhatter, 33, was later reported dead, according to New York Daily News.

McPhatter, who was nicknamed "Banga", was an associate of Troy Ave.

The incident took place in the backstage area of Irving Plaza, in a green room on the third floor, while rappers Maino and Uncle Murda were on stage opening for Tip.

Police are reportedly close to identifying the suspect in the shooting. As per Bratton, "We feel we'll wrap it up very quickly."

Bratton's comments arrive at a weird time, considering the magnifying glass that's been place on the department for its handling of the ongoing court battles with Bobby Shmurda, who, since his December 2014 arrest on charges for drug and conspiracy charges, is still awaiting trial to begin. In the latest update, Shmurda is set to appear in court on September 12. The Brooklyn rapper's lyrics have come as a highlight in the courtroom and in the press, despite the many times he has repeated that his music is fictional entertainment. "I feel like what they’re doing right now is what they do to a lot of people when they don’t have no case on them," said Shmurda to REVOLT earlier this year. "I was targeted because of my rap music, it’s crazy."

As of this writing, no arrests have been made in last night's Irving Plaza shooting.

Stay tuned to REVOLT for more updates.

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