Village Voice

Claimin’ I’m A Criminal: Reports From Tuesday Night’s Melee At The Pete Rock/Smif-N-Wessun Show

By J. Pablo Fri., Jul. 1 2011 at 2:45 PM

Sirens are forever wailing around town, but the sirens I heard as I walked down Houston Street Tuesday night sounded extra-menacing. And judging by the sheer number of squad cars flying past me, and the intensity with which they ran red lights and drove against traffic up Orchard Street, it was evident something bad was about to transpire.

Shortly after midnight, a gang (and I use that in a very literal sense) of New York Police Department officers rushed Tammany Hall on Orchard Street, interrupting a peaceful Pete Rock/Smif n Wessun event.

Witnesses say the attack by police was unprovoked. Several onlookers captured much of the chaos on camera; judging from the footage, the police were the aggressors.

Officers from the Seventh Precinct gathered outside the popular spot, then pushed their way into the venue. After arresting Louis Pena, a rapper by the name of Louie Skaggs, on stage, they proceeded to shove, mace, and club partygoers and bystanders, according to witnesses. (Read the Post‘s account here.)


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