Riot on Orchard Street Last Night? [UPDATED w/ VIDEO]

Posted on: June 29th, 2011 at 8:23 am by

If the last few weeks are any indication, the Lower East Side is going to hell in a handbasket.  The same day a dead body was found inside 101 Stanton Street, a riot reportedly broke out just a block away.  Details aren’t immediately clear at the moment are updated below but a number of Twitter users in the neighborhood reported quite the disturbance after midnight at the corner of Orchard Street.

This image has been archived or removed.

[Photo Credit: Karlpawlewicz]

Thanks to Qayyim AK for providing the whole story:

There was not a riot last night.  The police shut down the album release party of Smif-n-Wessun and Peter Rock’s ‘Monumental’ due to an alleged disturbance, by ‘spraying mace in the venue’ causing many people who were unaware of what was occurring outside to panic.  Upon exiting the Tammany Hall venue I saw an entourage member that I had seen earlier in the VIP section, on the ground in handcuffs.  Many members of the crowd begin to record the arrest with cell phones, pocket video recorders, etc.  In a matter of minutes the 5-10 police on the scene begin to forcibly instruct everyone to ‘Clear the block!… Get off the block, NOW!”

I pulled out my phone to check on the friends that I attended the event with as I walked away from the venue towards Rivington.  I looked back as a female officer told me to “don’t even look at your phone, just get off the block”.  When I looked back I witnessed officers pushing one young Latino man who was perhaps moving to slow or not moving at all.  He begin to push back and as he put his hands up 3-5 officers rushed him and begin to beat him with batons.  The crowd then begin to record this obvious incident of police brutality.  Once the officers ‘jumped’ this man patrols cars swarmed the small side street.  There seemed to be more police then patrons at this point.  As the officers beat the young man with their batons a young woman approached the group.  She was then thrown against a store front for possibly interfering with ‘official police business’.  From a police perspective I can actually understand this, but what I cannot and will not accept to believe is…. that is was necessary for a small group of officers to knock this ‘woman’ to the ground and then beat her as they did the young man.  Both individuals were on the group unable to move as they were being restrained by a small group of officers, who continued to beat both individuals nonstop with batons and fists.

The paramedics arrived and after about 10-15 minutes the young man who was being beaten walked towards the ambulance in a blood soaked head wrap.  I walked back towards Stanton after contacting my friends and noticed a serious amount of blood on the sidewalk.  I have so much more to say about what happened last night, but I’m still processing it and am quite numb to something that is unfortunately not a unique experience in my community; police brutality.  The most disheartening part of the night was the excitement in the eyes of the police as they ran down the street pulling out their batons to ‘protect’ their fellow officers.  This is a moment where I laugh to mask the tears.

FrenchNYC wrote:

Holly shit! Crazy riot on Orchard St and stanton! People are getting beat up! Crazy maybe 60 cop cars! Holly crap!

And Thechrisfischer had the following:

There’s a riot on Stantonandorchard. Cops having to use some serious force…

Here is some footage of the mayhem:

(via ajtobin)

Anyone out there have more on the cause of the disturbance?  Drop a line

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