Close to 40 members of the Houma Police Department and Terrebonne Sheriff's Officers were stationed in the City Club Wednesday night, where Master P, his son Romeo, Mystikal and several others were performing a concert.
In addition to the officers inside, several dozen body armor-clad officers and Narcotics Task Force agents were gathered outside the venue, where a police barricade had been set up, with a Police SWAT truck parked nearby for added protection from the approximately 80 to 100 people in attendance at the nearly 300-person capacity venue.
"It had racial overtones," Jerome Boykin, head of Terrebonne's NAACP told local paper Houma Today. "When you have white rock groups come to town you don't have this much."
Indeed, close to 5,000 people attended a February concert for hair-metal band Styx at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center, according to an organizer of the event, and the police presence was nowhere near as excessive, with nary a SWAT member in sight. "I've been here all my life and never seen this much security for a concert," exclaimed 40-year-old Houma resident Jerry Trosclair. "I don't know what else it could be."
Police officials reportedly denied Boykin's allegations, claiming their presence was Spring Break-related, in an effort to curtail underage drinking, but the Houma Today quotes an anonymous officer as admitting that the department was taking "preventive measures" due to the rap show. "We concentrate our forces where we expect large amounts of people," Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis explained. "We knew something was going on, and we had some extra forces during that time."
Percy "Master P" Miller shed his gangsta image over a decade ago, and now he and his son Romeo concentrate on community work, running several charities, and recently giving out free computers to disadvantaged kids in Los Angeles. He is scheduled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his seminal New Orleans rap label, No Limit Records, on May 1 at the House of Blues in Houston, Texas.