UPDATE: Kenneth Montgomery, the group’s attorney, has released the following statement regarding Tuesday night’s event.
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.
Smif-N-Wessun and Pete Rock held the album release show for their collaborative LP, Monumental, last night at New York City’s Tammany Hall (the club, not the political machine). But after the celebration ended, things got violent as concertgoers and NYPD clashed outside of the club. It’s still unclear how things got started, but an eyewitness captured some of the incident on video and uploaded an eight-minute clip to YouTube.
Things begin to get physical at about 2:45, as an officer, who’s trying to clear the sidewalk, and one of the concertgoers begin to shove each other. A handful of other officers rush to the scene, and the man gets pushed to the ground and beaten with nightsticks as officers yell at the gathered onlookers to “get back.” The rest of the video contains reactions from people outside of the club. “There was no fights, there was no confrontations,” Smif-N-Wessun member Darrell Yates (aka “Steele”) says, “and then the police came and stormed the place, you know, telling us we had to get out.”
At this time, details about the incident are still hazy, but Smif-N-Wessun’s publicist says an official statement is due sometime today. More information is sure to come, so stay tuned for updates.