NYPD Attacks APOC Benefit


Fifth Estate # 363, Winter, 2003/2004

Up to 100 people attending a private benefit for APOC attendees in Brooklyn were shocked early on the morning of November 16 [2003] by an unprovoked and violent assault at the hands of the NYPD. Attendees were indiscriminately sprayed with chemical agents, beaten with nightsticks, and harassed by a throng of police officers.

Witnesses say there was no cause for the assaults and the subsequent arrests following the melé.

Over 25 police vehicles arrived at around 2am to investigate an officer’s report of someone standing outside the party allegedly holding an “open container.” Within minutes, the police unleashed their wave of violence onto the crowd, provoking onlookers and beating down attendees who were not resisting their orders. Over 20 people were experiencing effects of the pepper spray that was erratically sprayed into the air by the officers.

The tenants of the private, residential building were present at the event, and did not request police assistance. Witnesses report that no warrant was presented upon police entrance. Organizers responded peacefully to police threats and physical provocation, yielding to their disrespectful demands.

The eight activists arrested by the NYPD were released on their own recognizance and without bail.