Unruly crowds force cancellation of Air Jordans launch in downtown Miami

MIAMI (WSVN) - It was supposed to be a fun event in downtown Miami to mark the release of some coveted new kicks. Then the shoving began.

City of Miami Police were forced to disperse hundreds of people outside of E11EVEN nightclub Saturday afternoon, but what was spiraling out of control wasn’t a party.

Instead, it was Nike fans who showed up at the club to be the very first owners of the new Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG.

 

Witness Kahmahreeah Lotfy described the escalating chaos.

“A bunch of people were just trying to rush the door to get in, but everyone was just kind of pushing, and it just got out of hand,” said Lofty.

The Miami-based company SoleFly had organized the secret launch in partnership with Air Jordan to create and sell the sneakers.

But word of the event quickly spread, and before it could even start, witnesses said, customers became ruthless. They began pushing and shoving; some were even seen breaking down metal barriers.

​”Everybody in the back was pushing everyone in the front, and at the end of the day, the little kids in the front, they were just getting trampled over,” said witness Noam Prosper.

Police officers on hand attempted to control the madness. Officials said one of them even suffered minor injuries.

“One of our officers did suffer some discomforting pain near the chest area, and he is being checked out, and he is expected to be OK,” said Miami Police Officer Kiara Delva.

Organizers were then forced to cancel the event. A spokesperson for SoleFly released a statement that read, “As safety is our number one priority, we’ve had to cancel our release today. We will reschedule our launch for a future date, thank you.”

Customers at the footwear release said they hope the next launch is done properly.

“I hope that they learn from this year and change it up next year because it’s wrong,” said Prosper.

As of 11 p.m., Saturday, there was no word on a new launch date.

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