The Lower East Side nightlife situation went to a new level last night, when an overcrowded Smif-n-Wessun and Pete Rock CD release party at Tammany Hall turned into a full on brawl with the NYPD. There are conflicting reports of what transpired, but at some point the NYPD entered the venue and began emptying the place. An NYPD rep told the Lo Down that the venue owners called the police to help get control of the venue, and after arriving, the NYPD used pepper spray to get the party attendees outside. Things seemed to go horribly wrong after that, as several fights broke out between the police and people that had just been cleared from the venue.
Fast forward to the 2:50 point of the video to see the fight break out. You can hear a woman screaming "get out of my face" before the first punch is thrown, and then all hell breaks loose. Various people reported serious injuries afterward, including an NYPD officer who reportedly broke a tooth.
It's hard to tell whether this is just an isolated incident that got out of control or just the boiling point of a tense situation between the NYPD and Lower East Side nightlife operators over forced closures. Hopefully cooler heads prevail going forward.
· Arrests at Tammany Hall; Patrons Claim NYPD Brutality [Lo Down]
· Lower East Side Crackdown Coverage [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]