Clubgoers Claim Police Brutality After Brawl Erupts Outside Tammany Hall
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Five police officers were injured and five people arrested after a brawl erupted outside a Lower East Side club early Wednesday morning, the New York City Police Department confirmed.
The incident broke out after a hip hop CD release party.
Shortly after midnight, police responded to Tammany Hall on Orchard Street after club security called 911 due to overcrowding. Some patrons at the Smif-N-Wessun and Pete Rock “Monumental” album release party reportedly started getting unruly.
WARNING: Graphic Language (Open Video In New Window)
As officers began emptying the location, one clubgoer refused to leave and began to resist arrest, said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. A melee ensued and was caught on tape, as other patrons began assaulting officers, Browne said.
In the video, as a man was being handcuffed on the ground, people could be heard yelling, “Film this!”
In the video, as one officer was detaining a man, a woman appears to rush at the police and screams, “Don’t touch my f—–g boyfriend.” A fight ensues and at least four police officers can be seen repeatedly punching the man.
Browne said 25-30 patrons were throwing beer bottles and “anything else that they could get their hands on” at one another.
Five officers were hospitalized. One had a broken nose, the other a broken tooth, one with lacerations and two with contusions to their heads.
Five people were arrested. One of those five had lacerations to the head.
Those arrested face charges of assault, disorderly conduct, obstuction and inciting to riot.
Some patrons accused police of brutality, saying that the event was peaceful until officers showed up and used pepper spray.
“The police came and stormed the place, telling us we had to get out, and then they started beating on people and telling us to move away,” Darrell Yates, aka Steele of Smif-N-Wessun, said. “New Yorkers, like myself, we get frustrated when the police come in and instead of bringing order to the crowd, they create more chaos.”
DJ Jay Diamond accused the officers of being overly aggressive. She said police barricaded the entire street to push the crowd off the block.
Musician Jedi Chevon called for witnesses to file a complaint with the police department’s review board.
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