Motive questioned in Nassau's attempt to get part of Summer Jam concert canceled
Nassau County officials' attempt to get a portion of the Hot 97 Summer Jam concert canceled is drawing criticism from some who live in and around Elmont.
The show, which is being headlined by Cardi B, will go on this Sunday inside and outside of the UBS Arena. Nassau County had filed a lawsuit trying to get the outdoor portion canceled.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, cited previous arrests at Hot 97 Summer Jam concerts at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in 2015 and 2017.
Based on those prior concerts, the county's lawsuit classified the Summer Jam concert as a "public nuisance" plagued by "riot-like behavior and criminal violations."
Some in the community say the words are racially charged and target the mostly Black and brown fans who attend hip-hop events.
Jermaine Brown lives down the street from UBS Arena. He says he has seen rowdy crowds from horse races, but has never seen a lawsuit to block part of an event.
"When we have the races, I don't hear of a lawsuit, and I have people passing out on my lawn, drinking, it gets really crazy around here," Brown says
Democratic Legislator Carrie Solages says the lawsuit was a political stunt by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman to appeal to his base.
"Any person can see between the lines, read between the lines and hear the classic dog whistle language being used that will just aggravate the extreme of our political spectrum," Solages.
The county executive released a statement saying, "I am shocked that any legislator would not be concerned about a public activity where the promoter in the past has been banned from other jurisdictions due to the high level of criminal activity and illegal drug use."
Blakeman says a deal was reached for the concert to go forward. The organizers of the event will pay to have an additional 80 officers there.
He stressed that the money to fund the extra security will not come from taxpayers.