by Davey D for http://daveyd.com
7/1/11 -The situation that took place the other night at Tammany Hall in Brooklyn where NYPD went wylding on innocent concert goers resulting in the arrest and brutal beating of 5 people, including the daughter of the co-headliner Pete Rock should serve as a stark reminder just how such incidents are all too common. Those who attended this album release party described the event as peaceful. There were no problems inside and hardly anyone was aware that an army of police had amassed outside the venue. From the looks of things, what took place was a deliberate and a gross injustice…It’s important that we NOT see what took place at Tammany Hall as something that was isolated. The beatings that took place that night are no different than the ones handed out to innocent concert goers at a dead prez/ KRS-One Katrina benefit show in Los Angeles several years ago. There, police interrupted the show by flying helicopters and shining lights on the performers (the stage was in a courtyard inside the venue). They then ordered folks to leave the venue. Shocked concert goers were greeted by a gauntlet line of more than a hundred officers who provoked and intimidated folks as left the event…Their rationale for shutting down the event was the same one used by NYPD when they shut down the Pete Rock/Smif-N-Wessun party (3000 miles away and 6 years later) there was supposedly a ‘fight outside’ the venue…We’ve all seen and heard these type of stories before, so much so, that we can no longer say they are mere coincidences. They’re deliberate. Maybe it’s some sort of police training exercise where young Black and Brown folks are fodder. Maybe it’s something more sinister, where the cops are letting off steam and literally going on some sort of hunting expedition.
Back in the hey-days of former LA police Chief William H Parker and later Chief Darryl Gates, they had a twofold strategy. One was to militarize the police force and make them an efficient “take no prisoners” entity. The second was to make sure every Black and Brown male who lived in the hood had contact with the police before they were 15 to make sure that it was clearly understood who was boss. Parker had a strategy of recruiting police from the south who at that time harbored prejudice and ill feelings toward Blacks. He was known for calling Black people ‘nigras’ and had an even lower opinion of Brown folks. He was LA’s longest serving police chief. It was under Parker that the infamous Watts Riots of 1967 took place. It was under Gates that the Rodney King rebellion erupted. Why do I bring all this up? Because the tactics used by LAPD with Parker and Gates as key architects were held up high and adopted by police departments all over the country and the world. Folks in NY got a taste of this adaptation, when Mayor Rudy Giuliani took office and directed his police to come down hard on any person who committed the smallest and most harmless of infractions. His theory was if you crack down on the little things it will prevent the big things from happening. For many this was seen as a good move designed to make NY one of the world’s safest big cities. For many in Black and Brown communities it was an absolute nightmare. Again, this is all too commonplace.. It’s my hope that as we talk about and demand justice for what went down the other night in Brooklyn with Pete Rock and his daughter that we also push for systemic change. It’s my hope that all of us who blog, or have access to the airwaves not limit our outrage to incidents involving celebrities and rap stars. For those of us who cover Hip Hop, it’s important we remember the fans and supporters of this culture who are routinely at the end of the stick of police brutality incidents. The Pete Rock that I know would definitely want justice and resolution to what happened to his daughter and all the others brutalized by the police…now dubbed the Monumental 5…He would also want this tragedy to not be inflicted on anyone else. Something to Ponder, Davey D (full article at http://daveyd.com)