Justice for the Monumental 5 on September 27, 2011

On June 28th, 2011 recording artists Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun had an album release party for their album Monumental at Tammany Hall in NYC.  It was a peaceful evening until the NYPD  ambushed the event and its partygoers.

Five people were arrested  that night and labeled the Monumental 5 after the name of the album. The Monumental 5 are James W. Ayala, Gabriel Diaz, Cynthia Rosa, Jade Everett, and Luis Pena. They were assaulted by NYPD and charged with the following:

James W. Ayala: Obstruction of Governmental Administration in the Second Degree.

Gabriel Diaz: Assault in the Second Degree, Riot in the First Degree, Obstruction of Governmental Administration in the Second Degree, Resisting Arrest, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.

Jade Everette: Assault in the Second Degree, Riot in the First Degree, Resisting Arrest.

Cynthia Rosa: Assault in the Second Degree, Riot in the first degree, Obstruction of Governmental administration in the Second Degree, Disorderly Conduct.

Luis Pena: Assault in the Second Degree, Riot in the First Degree, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct.

Please show your support for the Monumental 5 on September 27, 2011, an attend their court hearing at  100 Centre Street NY, NY 10013, 2nd Floor Part F at 9:30AM SHARP!


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Monumental 5 Court Date September 27, 2011

Please attend the Monumental 5 court date on September 27, 2011 9:30AM at                   100 Centre Street NY, NY 10013 2nd Floor Part F.


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Monumental 5 Townhall Meeting July 28, 2011

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Monumental 5 Post Release

MEDIA CONTACT: April R. Silver

Office: 718.756.8501 ● Mobile/Text: 646.522.4169

Email: pr@akilaworksongs.com

For Social Media Updates: AKILAWORKSONGS ● Twitter: @akilaworksongs




Strong Show of Support for the Monumental 5 at City Hall Press Conference 

New York, NY – In response to the raid by New York City Police (NYPD) at the Monumental album release party on June 28, 2011, Pete Rock and General Steele (half of the rap duo Smif N Wessun) – all world respected hip hop artists – speak out on the steps of New York City Hall on July 5th. A collective of hip hop artists, community organizers, supporters, and three of the five individuals who were beaten and arrested (now collectively known as the Monumental 5) successfully outlined what happened at the hip hop club and linked the NYPD misconduct to a history of “disconnect” from the community they are employed to protect.

Led by activist and writer Kevin Powell, speakers at the 50 minute press conference also presented a plan of action for the community (see attached). Two of the victims of police brutality (Luis Pena and Jade Everett) also gave insights into the terror experienced that night by peaceful party goers.

Video footage from the June 28th event is at http://bit.ly/Monumental5 and footage from the press conference is at http://bit.ly/Monumental5Press01

Select Quotes:

From Pete Rock (regarding the night of the event): “Mothers were there, aunts, uncles, families… I hope and pray that we do get justice. We deserve justice. It was an attack not just on [hip hop] culture but on human beings who were not starting trouble, who were not fighting, just enjoying a good party.”

From General Steele: [This attack on the party goers was] “unwarranted and unprovoked…” He added, “To witness this in the United States, in New York City 2011 [and] … to think that we have such disconnect between our law enforcement and the people in the community is frightening.”

From Attorney Kenneth Montgomery (representing the Monumental 5): “The problem [of police brutality against communities of color in New York] … is a cultural problem, it’s a perception problem, and it starts at the police department…”


The Monumental 5 are Louis Pena, Gabriel Diaz, Cynthia Rosa, James W. Ayala, and Jade Everett. The Monumental 5 Collective includes Lisa “Cynical” Smith, General Steele, Tek, Shara McHayle, Pete Rock, Kenneth Montgomery, Kevin Powell, Lumumba Bandele, and April R. Silver. Media contact: 718.756.8501 or pr@akilaworksongs.com.

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Monumental 5 Press Conference

Monumental 5 Press Conference from Bucktown USA on Vimeo.

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Statement from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in Support of the Monumental 5

Statement from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

in Support of the Monumental 5.

Prepared and submitted by Lumumba Bandele, Community Organizer (July 5, 2011)

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement stands in solidarity and support of the Monumental 5 and the dozens of other people who were attacked by members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) on the night of June 28, 2011.

This attack by NYPD is not new and is becoming a more recognizable part of NYPD’s identity. Communities of color continue to fall victim to police misconduct and illegal policing tactics.

According to the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union]: In 2010 alone, NYPD officers made over half a million stops, 85 percent of which targeted people of color. The reason given by NYPD for what are called “stop-and-frisk” activities were guns. In all of these cases, however, less than 0.2 percent of “stop-and-frisk” resulted in guns being found.

According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund: Blacks and Latinos represent over 90% of all citywide trespass arrests on NYCHA [New York City Housing Authority] property although we make up only 54% of the New York City population.

The presence of police in NYC public schools adds to this dynamic as thousands of children of color are forced to learn under the threatening presence of the very institution that will more than likely “stop-and-frisk” them.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement stands with the Monumental 5 in calling for a city-wide community response. We are calling on community members to adopt a culture of observation with the NYPD. Collectively, we also suggest the following community action steps:

1. Join the movement to demand that all charges against the Monumental 5 be dropped AND that the officers responsible for these attacks be brought to justice.

2. Get trained in Cop Watch and Know Your Rights programs. The People’s Justice Coalition will host a session for volunteers on Thursday, July 14 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Center for Constitutional Rights located at 666 Broadway (on the 6th Floor) in New York City. More information can be found at www.peoplesjustice.org.

3. Attend all the upcoming court dates of the Monumental 5. A court date should not go by where they are in the court room alone.

4. Attend the upcoming town hall meeting (to be convened in the immediate future) to discuss what happened at Tammany Hall on June 28 and to discuss the increased harassment on communities of color by NYPD. There, people will be educated on how to monitor NYPD toward getting them to develop a system of accountability. Information will be posted at www.monumental5.bucktownusa.com

We will not continue to be victims of police misconduct! We will continue to organize for real police accountability.

Lumumba Bandele

Member, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

917.415.5653  | LBandele@yahoo.com



For general information about the Monumental 5, go to www.monumental5.bucktownusa.com.

Media inquiries are directed to 718.756.8501. Get official press releases at AKILAWORKSONGS.com/ThePressRoom

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MONUMENTAL 5 | Press Release | July 4th 2011

MONUMENTAL 5 | Press Release | July 4th 2011

MEDIA CONTACT: April R. Silver
Office: 718.756.8501 ● Mobile/Text: 646.522.4169
Email: pr@akilaworksongs.com
For Social Media Updates: AKILAWORKSONGS ● Twitter: @akilaworksongs

RELEASE DATE: Monday, July 4, 2011


Coalition of Supporters for The Monumental 5 To Announce Updates
at Press Conference: Tuesday, July 5 at 12:00 pm (New York City Hall)

New York, New York – Concerned community members, hip hop artists, local activists, grassroots organizers, and elected officials will gather at the steps of New York City Hall to do three things: To show support for those who were beaten, maced, and arrested by New York City police officers (NYPD) at an album release party for Pete Rock, Tek and General Steele (of the hip hop group Smif N Wessun); to publicly outcry yet another instance of police brutality; and to issue a call­to­action to the community­
at­large. Though the individuals who were beaten and arrested last Tuesday, now collectively known as The Monumental 5, have been released until a more in­depth investigation can be launched, the calls demanding justice have grown over the past week, all fueled by the police brutality video footage that has gone viral on the Internet (http://bit.ly/Monumental5).

The press conference will take place Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at noon at City Hall (located at City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan between Broadway, Park Row, and Chambers Street). The Monumental 5 are Louis Pena, Gabriel Diaz, Cynthia Rosa, James W. Ayala, and Jade Everett. Confirmed participants for Tuesday’s press conference include: Pete Rock; General Steele; Shara McHayle (one of the victims of police brutality who is also an entertainment industry professional and the wife of Pete Rock); Lisa “Cynical” Smith (one of the party’s organizers); activist and writer Kevin Powell; activist
Lumumba Bandele from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Senior Community Engagement
Advocate for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; NYC Council Member Charles Barron; and Kenneth Montgomery, the attorney representing The Monumental 5.

Powell offered this statement: “Pete Rock and Smif N Wessun are not only pioneers and legends in the global, multibillion dollar hiphop music industry with extensive resumes and followers across the planet, but they are also very engaged in their communities locally. Indeed, I have personally worked with Pete and Steele of Smif N Wessun and know their commitment to community, family, and positive, proactive
events. That is what makes this over­the­top police violence following their joint CD release party so outrageous and unjust. We say enough of treating every single hiphop gathering in New York like a crime waiting to happen, and we say enough to the NYPD’s use of excessive, inhumane force, especially when it comes to young people and people of color in New York.”

~ more ~


Monumental 5 Press Release
July 5, 2011 | Page 2 of 2
Contact: 718.756.8501 | pr@akilaworksongs.com

Montgomery explains that friends and family gathered to celebrate the album release of Monumental, the collaborative album of Pete Rock and Smif N Wessun. The sold­out event, held at Tammany Hall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, was peaceful on the inside and outside. Earlier in the evening some guests wanted to enter Tammany Hall but were turned away by the club’s management and security. A minor argument ensued but was peacefully settled by the club’s bouncers. Thirty minutes later, approximately
15 – 20 uniformed New York City police officers from the 7th precinct arrived. There were no incidents,disturbances, nor any cause for alarm. They left quickly and joined their fellow officers in the exit area of the venue. Upon joining their fellow officers, the officers who had just left the venue began to put on black leather gloves. Simultaneously, more uniformed officers arrived and exited their vehicles.

Montgomery also indicated that “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 camera men. Several people began filming and recording the unprovoked brutality … The officers then began to mace and assault anyone within arm’s length, including several women. Their behavior was unjustified, unprovoked, and simply barbaric considering there was no provocation. Pete Rock, Tek, and Steele, fortunately were not harmed. Some of their friends and family members, however, were assaulted by the police.”

McHayle added: “We all left the venue to be greeted outside by a sea of NYPD gloved up and very aggressive. As we began to move, we all witnessed the most brutal beating of a party patron. He was on the floor surrounded by 10 police officers with sticks out, beating him. In shock, we must have not moved quickly enough to the officers’ liking and they shouted “Move the F*** Back” and then shoved myself and my daughter down to the ground. Now we were surrounded by 3 cops and 1 pinning us down. My daughter shouted “Get off my mother” and was handcuffed and arrested.”

Ms. McHayle’s daughter, Jade Everett, one of the Monumental 5, was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. While in police custody Ms. Everett and her friend Cynthia Rosa began their menstruation cycles yet were refused feminine hygiene products for more than a
day, adding to the inhumane conditions the young women were made to endure.

Over the holiday weekend, Attorney Montgomery affirmed the following: “All defendants except for Mr. Ayala were charged with rioting, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, and assault on a police officer. Mr. Ayala was charged with obstructing governmental administration. After initially requesting substantial bail for Mr. Pena and Mr. Diaz, the Manhattan district attorney’s office
consented to their release after reviewing some video footage with the defense. All defendants were released and the case was adjourned to September 27, 2011, for grand jury action. All defendants have advised the government that they intend to testify in the grand jury, when and if an indictment is sought. The Manhattan district attorney advised the court that they will continue to investigate. The defense is
scheduled to meet with internal affairs investigators next week to review video footage.”

Media inquiries are directed to April R. Silver at AKILA WORKSONGS. Call 718.756.8501 or send an email to pr@akilaworksongs.com

Directions to City Hall by subway: #4, #5, #6 trains to City Hall / Brooklyn Bridge; #2, #3 trains to Park Place; W, R trains to City Hall; A, C trains to Chambers Street.

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Eyewitness Vidoes

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MTV News

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