Eminem caught the attention of the British Transport Police following his first U.K. performance on his European tour on Thursday night in Manchester, England. Shortly after the rapper performed to a sell-out crowd of nearly 16,000 at the Manchester Evening News Arena, a video of the show was seized by the BTP “as a precaution” according to a statement from the BTP’s Chief Inspector White. The video is being analyzed by the authorities who are viewing it to determine whether any offenses were committed at the gig.
One of the illicit activities that police are investigating is Eminem’s alleged use of ecstasy and encouragement in promoting it to the audience. However, according to an inspector, officers at the show were told the rapper was swallowing gum. According to a spokesman for the BTP, the police organization has scheduled a meeting for Monday morning to review the situation. He also said that Eminem’s lawyers have indicated that the rap star, who was interviewed by police before the concert, will be at the disposal of the BTP for questioning.
“We’ve already been in touch with his legal advisors and they told us Mr. Mathers will be available when necessary,” the inspector said.
Since his arrival in Britain this week the rapper has been the center of media controversy. Members of student, gay rights and women’s groups protested the rapper’s lyrical content outside the concert. But according to John Knight, Marketing Director for the MEN Arena, the gig went off peacefully. “We had a good show. There were 16,000 people inside and about sixty people outside [who] protested in a non-confrontational way.”
Additionally, Eminem’s use of a chainsaw in his performance, which earlier this week was reported to be a point of contention for the local council, went off without a hitch. “[He] came on stage with the chain saw,” Knight said. “We were comfortable with it. It posed no threat to health and safety. It had to be modified so it was not a threat. The health and safety officials were happy and we were happy with that. We just had a very good-natured show.”
An inspector said a number of arrests were made, but no more than any other event of the same size. “Overall the event was very successful from a policing point of view and I received no complaints from any member of the audience regarding the conduct of the performers,” a spokesman for the police said.