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Arrests at Tammany Hall; Patrons Claim NYPD Brutality

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Orchard Street in front of Tammany Hall is quiet this morning, but last night was a different story.

An event that began as a hip-hop CD release party at Orchard Street nightclub Tammany Hall yesterday evening ended with blood on the sidewalk, the arrest of half a dozen patrons and at least five police officers injured in the wee hours of the morning.

Ten minutes after midnight, NYPD officers responded to a call for help from security staffers at the club, who reported a dispute among patrons that had grown unruly during the show, according to the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information office, which compiled a preliminary report this morning. Officers arrived to find a large crowd outside the club, and proceeded to arrest one person for disorderly conduct. The suspect fought back, striking an officer in the face and breaking a front tooth, according to DCPI. The suspect then allegedly called for help from other patrons inside and outside the club as officers began to clear out the over-capacity space.

Fans of artists Smif-N-Wessun and Pete Rock say the crowded show was “peaceful” when the police arrived and ordered the club evacuated, using pepper spray. One video by one fan at the scene show police wrestling with several bar-goers on the sidewalk on the block between Rivington and Stanton, using physical force to subdue them while onlookers shout protests. Another video documents a young woman screaming while police push her onto the curb. One musician who was there, Jedi Chevon, posted a blog report this morning and is using Twitter to post updates and call for witnesses to file complaints with the police review board.

Amid the chaos, six patrons were arrested and charged with various offenses, including disorderly conduct, assaulting an officer and inciting a riot, DCPI reports. In addition to the broken tooth, at least five officers sustained injuries that included a broken nose and cuts. The DCPI report did not specify injuries sustained by those taken into police custody, but witnesses said at least one of the bar-goers who tangled with police was injured and remained hospitalized this morning.

Tammany Hall opened in December, taking over the old Annex venue. Its multi-level space has hosted many live music shows and other events. In April, NYPD officers were there for a very different reason than last night: the “Cops of the Year” award ceremony.

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