XXXTentacion's Impromptu Memorial Shut Down by Police as Crowd Turns to Chaos
Police were called to break up the impromptu Los Angeles memorial for XXXTentacion on Tuesday night as thousands gathered on the streets of West Hollywood to mourn the late rapper.
According to The Los Angeles Times, upwards of 1,000 people were in attendance at the event, which was not permitted and was publicized on social media hours before it began.
Though it appeared to start off peacefully around 8 p.m. local time, the memorial quickly grew rowdy. Photos and video from the scene shared on social media showed crowds blocking traffic. Dozens participated in a mosh pit in the center of the streets. Some stood on rooftops while others jumped off of them, to the chants of “Jump for X” coming from below.
Mourners could also be seen in videos climbing on top of vehicles. Meanwhile, helicopters from news outlets and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department hovered above, capturing aerial views of the action.
Officers were first called to the scene around 7:20 p.m. local time, Variety reported, though authorities didn’t begin to break things up until shortly after 9 p.m. The Times reported that the scene was cleared by 10:15 p.m.
Tony Im, of the LAPD, told the Times that officers were authorized to use tear gas to disperse the crowd but instead shot “bean bags” to break things up. One officer was hit by a rock, while an ambulance was called to treat a 20-year-old attendee with cuts on their head.
No arrests were made, The Times reported.
XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Onfroy, was shot dead in his home state of Florida on Monday as he was leaving a motorcycle dealership.
In his few years in the spotlight, the 20-year-old saw national success as a rapper as well as several high-profile run-ins with the law — including allegations he was abusive.
At the time of the shooting this week, XXXTentacion was reportedly facing trial on multiple felony charges in connection with allegedly assaulting pregnant ex-girlfriend Geneva Ayala.
He repeatedly denied the woman’s accusations, which were detailed at length in a 2017 deposition previously reported on by Pitchfork. Meanwhile, an influx of donations to Ayala’s GoFundMe page set up to help with her medical bills stemming from the alleged assault by the rapper has been seen in the wake of his death.
Ayala attempted to attend a memorial at the site of XXXTentacion’s murder on Tuesday evening, but left the scene crying after his fans burned and destroyed gifts she left.
“they kicked me out of the vigil. so damn disrespectful. i can’t believe people are that selfish. i wasn’t even there 25 minutes and i literally got pulled away from the memorial. i just wanted to stay. i wasn’t bothering anyone. this is unfair. i’m absolutely devastated,” she wrote on Instagram.
“i left those those things for him. i didn’t bother anyone. i said nothing to no one. i can’t believe they’d do that. how did they let that happen. why would anyone let that happen, where is the respect? the globe, board, flowers and candles i brought for him were placed BEHIND THE CAUTION TAPE, AND THEY LET THEM GET THE S— AND SET IT ALL ON FIRE. he would’ve wanted me there. i have no f—ing words.”