DMX Crowd Gets Maced

Contract security officers — not Indiana University police — sprayed Mace on a rowdy group of students who grew upset when a concert by rapper DMX ended after only a few songs, a police official said Friday.

Capt. Jerry Minger of the IU Police Department said the security officers were apparently hired by members of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, which staged Wednesday night’s charity concert on the lawn of its on-campus fraternity house.

He said fraternity members had not returned repeated messages left by the department.

A message seeking comment was left Friday by The Associated Press with Lambda Chi Alpha’s campus office.

Minger said the fraternity had agreed with IU’s student activities office that the concert would run from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. but that DMX did not begin performing until the program was supposed to end.

A half-hour later, after DMX had performed only a few songs, Minger said representatives of IU’s student activities office told the fraternity the concert needed to end because the house is near a residential area.

Minger said he could clearly hear the booming concert from his home seven blocks away.

“So you can imagine what it would be like if you were right across the street,” he said.

When DMX left the stage, Minger said students who may have paid between $25 and $35 for concert tickets became rowdy and were soon sprayed with Mace by the private security officers.

Minger said he had seen a cell phone video that shows the crowd being sprayed twice, the second time heavily.

“They walked away and then came back and pretty well doused the people up front,” he said. “We don’t use that kind of force unless we’re protecting property or there’s a threat of injury to someone else or ourselves. It didn’t appear from the video that that was the case.”

Minger said the video shows security officers wearing distinctive uniforms — duty belts, shoulder patches and what appeared to be badges — that may have led some students to believe they were police officers.

He said the department will complete its report and discuss those findings with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s office about possible charges.

“At the very least it would seem there might be room some kind of civil litigation for what happened,” Minger said.

Nyla Washington, who handles publicity for DMX, said the artist was upset by events but left the stage before the situation escalated.

“DMX was not the instigator,” Washington said in a prepared statement. “DMX feels it’s unfortunate that he could not fully perform … for this charity show and he hopes to return to Indiana University in the future for another show.”

Organizer Jake Hoffberg would not discuss the incident.