A rap showcase scheduled for Saturday night at the Afro-American Cultural Center was canceled after the Yale Police Department and University administrators expressed concerns about the safety of the event.
YPD Assistant Chief Michael Patten said that when his department learned the event was advertised, free and open to the public, it was concerned about the capacity of the venue to accommodate the showcase.
“We had no idea how many people might come and were concerned about overcrowding and people loitering outside in this predominately residential area,” he said in a Sunday morning email. “Coupled with tensions we’ve seen between various groups in the City and recent incidents occurring outside events, we recommended to Dean Cohen that the event be canceled.”
Toney B — one of the New Haven rappers scheduled to perform at the showcase — said he thinks administrators can “stigmatize” New Haven locals and “assume” that something violent will happen. He added that the point of the showcase was to “integrate the city with the students” and was intended to be a peaceful event for students to enjoy.