Greensboro councilwoman calls for investigation over disputed number of overdoses at Bassnectar NYE 360
Local city councilwoman Sharon Hightower is calling for an investigation into the reported overdoses that allegedly occurred at Bassnectar‘s NYE 360 gathering inside the Greensboro Coliseum. The event, which had 22,300 people in attendance, would be linked to the death of a 43-year-old man later that night in his hotel room.
Hightower says she is “disgusted” and “aggravated” over the aftermath of Bassnectar’s NYE 360 gathering. The event was the third-largest concert to take place in venue history.
“There are a lot of things that people are saying… that it’s 200 people who were seen and had overdoses and it was eight people who were seen or it was five,” Hightower said to local news sources.
She’s worried the concert did more harm than good, despite the economic benefit to the local community. She says it appears the city turned a blind eye to what happened. For instance, in how the Bassnectar team had a triage unit set up on site, which points to an expectation of illicit drug use.
“I was very shocked, and what concerned me greater was the type of prevention that was put in place,” Hightower is quoted in a live television report. “It looks like this is something we are condoning, even though we are not.”
It’s the same conservative logic that is employed to ban health classes from handing out condoms in high schools. But this is the south, after all, a region where Bassnectar typically likes to hold his New Year’s Eve events. Previous years had taken place in Burmingham and Nashville.
The Greensboro City Council is expected to discuss those concerns during next Tuesday’s meeting in addition to the death of a middle aged Asian man at a neighboring hotel to the Coliseum. The man was identified as Tam Phan and was thought to have attended the concert earlier that evening, thus linking his death to a suspected overdose.
While toxicology reports have yet to come back on the exact cause of death, one GPD officer said evidence inside Phan’s room linked him to being at the concert. However, an official spokesperson for Greensboro Coliseum later revealed that the venue’s ticket scanning records indicated that Phan did not attend the concert.
“All those questions are still under investigation. Our initial response in the early morning hours we were told by individuals with the victim that they had been at the concert,” said Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott. “We are taking into account the information the Coliseum has provided to us as part of that investigation so we can’t really say at this point.”
As the Greensboro District 1 Council Member, which houses the Coliseum in its jurisdiction, Sharon Hightower is making it her personal mission to get the bottom of things. She’s asking the city manager to launch a full-scale investigation into the exact timeline of events that took place that night, due to the discrepancies in the number of overdoses which occurred.
“It’s a staggering number and what happened there was unfortunate. We’ve got to find a way to move beyond it. We can’t ignore it, however,” stated Hightower in her statement issued to the public. “And I know [some] think it was a good idea that they had medical people on sight but I think having them on sight kind of really more spurred them to do more activity than would have been normal.”
While many community members are questioning why the Greensboro PD would forgo placing public safety measures in place prior to the event, it’s a bit more complicated when business licensing gets involved.
“The security protocols were put in place by the Greensboro Coliseum and the entertainers themselves, not the police department,” said Chief Scott. “The Greensboro Police Department takes a very small role in that.”
In the unlikely event that Bassnectar does choose Greensboro Coliseum to ring in the year 2020, one thing is certain: the Greensboro community will most certainly not be welcoming the Bassnectar community with open arms.
Source: WXII 12 News.
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