MEDIA CONTACT: April R. Silver
Office: 718.756.8501 ● Mobile/Text: 646.522.4169
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 7, 2011
HIP HOP ARTISTS PETE ROCK, GENERAL STEELE,
& OTHERS SPEAK OUT ON POLICE BRUTALITY
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
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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