New York producer Pete Rock and Smif-N-Wessun have formally addressed this week’s controversial police raid during their New York City album release concert with an official statement from both camps.
Based on the statement, a minor incident during the concert started the initial police involvement.
“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.” (Statement)
While they were unharmed, the statement claims friends and family endured police brutality.
“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.” (Statement)
DJ Jay Diamond, who was in attendance, provided a rundown of what happened.
“There was a fight outside the club and it got really nasty. We had no idea what was going on in the club, like absolutely no idea,” Jay said in a video. “Everything just shut down and we were told to make our way out the building, and as we did so, mace was thrown into the building…Bascially all the NYPD turned up and fucked up Pete Rock’s wife, is what I heard, and his daughter in the car. There were artists on the floor being battered, women being battered…Instead of talking, trying to get people to move, they were saying, ‘F*ck off! Get off the block!'” (Lady Jay UK)
Immediately following the incident, Pete Rock hit up Twitter to give his own detailed account of the melee.
“Ok,here come everybody wit da bullsh*t rumors lol! Me and my family are fine, i didnt get touched by any cops, i know i cant stop people from makin up a story but this is not the type of publicity i wanted,not @ all and i didnt expect this to go down like it did! shame on those cops man! The cops were jealous of the good time! and no my wife didnt get beat up @ all lol. she was trying to calm her daughter and was protecting her from getting beat up by the pigs! she fell backwards on sum garbage bags im actually proud of my wifey man,she protected her daughter. Deez police are outta hand,i saw them beat up a woman. Lame and short,they were short smurfy cops,without badge and gun they soft!,” [sic] he tweeted June 28th. (Pete Rock’s Twitter)
Check out footage from the incident down below: