Melee At NY Rap Concert
Police responded to a 911 call of a “dispute” at the Smif ‘N’ Wessun and Pete Rock record release party at the venue. When they arrived, they determined the show was over capacity, a police spokesman told the New York Post. Hostilities grew as the officers tried to disperse the crowd.
A concertgoer who refused to leave punched one officer in the face, breaking the officer’s tooth, the spokesman said. The concertgoer, while being handcuffed, screamed for help, which “[incited] a riot.”
At least four other people began assaulting officers, giving one a broken nose. Three other officers got bruises and cuts on their faces and necks, according to the representative.
However, witnesses told NBC News the NYPD used excessive force. They claim the lights turned on in the middle of the concert and dozens of police officers entered the room asking people to leave. One of Smif ‘N’ Wessun – Buckshot – said police began using Mace.
“We ran out any way we could,” he told NBC. “And when we got outside, we saw dozens of officers waving their batons.”
One arrested was Jade Everette, the daughter of DJ and rapper Pete Rock. Police say she punched a police officer in the head and flailed her arms to avoid being handcuffed. She was charged with second-degree assault, first-degree riot and resisting arrest, according to NBC.
Smif ‘N’ Wessun’s record label said it was police who acted inappropriately, including dragging patrons out of the club.
“The officers then began to Mace and assault anyone within arm’s length, including several women,” the label said in a statement.
The NYPD said its internal affairs department is reviewing the incident.