Late Tuesday (June 28), Pete Rock and Smif-N-Wessun had their album release party in New York stopped, and things got ugly … eventually resulting in altercations in and outside the venue between police and partygoers.
As reported this week, videos surfaced online of the incident, showing what looked to be police brutality.
Below an official statement, released on behalf of the acts, breaking down their version of what happened, accusing officers of of using “unprovoked brutality” and even macing patrons.
On Tuesday, June 28th, Pete Rock, Tek & Steele (of Smif N Wessun) were celebrating the release of their collaborative album, Monumental. It was a peaceful gathering inside of a sold-out Tammany Hall (lower-east side Manhattan, NY) to see the group perform new music from the project. Earlier in the evening some guests wanted to enter the event but were turned away by the management and bouncers employed by the club. A minor argument ensued, but eventually was diffused by the bouncers. Thirty minutes after that minor skirmish 15-20 uniformed Police Officers from the 7th precinct arrived at the venue. Shortly after even more uniformed officers arrived. The officers then hurried into the club and began macing and assaulting individuals inside the club, dragging one of them out and pummeling him directly in front of the club.
Present at the event were artists, industry tastemakers, fans, photographers, and cameramen. Several people began filming and recording the unprovoked brutality, much to the dismay of the police. The officers then began to mace and assault anyone within arms length, including several women. Kenneth Montgomery, the group’s attorney, who was in attendance at the event, stated that the Police “behavior was unjustified, unprovoked, and simply barbaric considering there was no provocation.”
Pete Rock, Tek and Steele fortunately were not harmed, however some of their friends & family were assaulted by the Police. The group’s attorney, Kenneth Montgomery, is addressing the situation now with local community leaders & is available for comment with more detailed information.