As reported elsewhere, Smif N Wessun's peaceful and unprovocative release album party devolved into a mass of angry people and at least one brutal cop smackdown caught on video (below). The justification for cops closing the show and showing up in the first place, according to Duck Down's official statement, were vague at best:
“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 guest 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 (no 61 or incident was ever filed by the club or bouncers) some 15-20 uniformed Police Officers from the 7th precinct arrived at the venue. When the officers arrived some of them entered the venue where they witnessed a peaceful environment, they quickly exited the venue and joined their fellow officers in the exit area of the venue.
Upon joining their fellow Officer's they all began to put on black leather gloves. At that time more uniformed officers arrived in marked rmp's and exited their vehicles. 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 artist, 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. Their 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 family in question was Pete Rock's daughter, who was reportedly cuffed after shouting at a group of cops to get off her mother.
Watch the video for some context, and head over to Brooklyn Vegan for details.