As we reported yesterday, Pete Rock and Smif N Wessun celebrated the release of their joint album, Monumental, Tuesday night with a release party at Tammany Hall in Manhattan, N.Y. And from what we heard, everything going on inside the venue was peaceful.
But when an altercation broke out somewhere near the club, that's when things got messy. The release party was eventually shut down by the police, who apparently used "unjustified, unprovoked, and simply barbaric" tactics to get everyone out of Tammany Hall.
At least, that's what we have heard from Rock and Smif N Wessun, who issued an official statement today on the incident. You can read the statement in its entirety below.
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.
Expect more reports on the matter as today at noon, Pete Rock and Tek and Steele, of Smif N Wessun, held a press conference.