Cop Attacks Poppunker
I'm writing here to set the story straight about an incident a few of you have heard about after our show in Philadelphia at the Fillmore this past Tuesday, the 16th. A basic summary of the night would be our drummer Dango was a victim of completely unnecessary force used by a Philadelphia Police officer for absolutely no reason. If you are queasy about swearing, as used by this officer and others, you can stop here. If you want the whole story, read on!
After our show, as we always do, we waited by our merch table to meet anyone and everyone who would like to say hi, get a picture, or get something signed. We were told after a few minutes by venue security that there wasn't enough room near our merch area, and that we would have to go outside to the sidewalk. We went outside in front of the venue to meet and greet. After a few minutes, a Philadelphia Police officer came by with his bike, and threw his bike in front of the kids waiting in line, and gruffly told everyone to move, as blocking the entrance was a fire hazard.
We moved about 20 feet down so we weren't near the door anymore. We continued to sign, and then that same cop came back a minute later, very agitated, and said " Did you not hear what I said? I told you guys to move!" He then very angrily yelled at the kids waiting " get out of here!" We felt maybe we could just move behind the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' trailer, where we couldn't be blocking the sidewalk. As we did so, The officer was following us the whole time, and Will told everyone " Ok, let's move down here where there aren't rude cops" Apparently, that touched a nerve. He yells at Will, word for word, "What the f*** did you say, you little f*ggot douchebag???" Will spins around, and asks him " What did you call me???"
Here's where it gets weird though. The cop grabs Dango, who hadn't said a word, and yells at him " DO NOT RESIST!" several times, really loudly, as he spins him around and throws handcuffs on him. As we start to protest, he grabs Dango and throws him violently up against Red Jumpsuit's trailer, and then starts to rummage through his pockets, throwing his stuff to the ground. He then goes through his wallet, and throws that stuff to the ground too. Dango, who hadn't said a thing this whole time, finally asks " Sir, why am I being handcuffed? I haven't said a thing." He wouldn't give him an answer, just more profanities. Meanwhile, another cop comes over and tells us to step back. We ask him why Dango has been detained, as we're just signing autographs for kids. He just proceeds to tell us to "Shut the f*** up and step back!"
It finally ended when the cop let Dango go about 15 minutes later, no explanation, no reason why he was detained in the first place. After that, I asked the first cop for his badge number, and we told him we were going to file a complaint with the city. He got angry, but then he laughed and said " it wouldn't be the first time, bud, I've been around the horn." I then asked who the supervisor of the group was, and it so happened to be the other cop. I asked him for his badge number, and he refused to give it to me. I ended up seeing it on his shirt, so I wrote it down. I told them to expect a complaint, and the first cop then said " Let's just take them all away." Luckily another cop there said " no, we can't do that, they haven't done anything."
Dango's wrists were very visibly bruised, and none of the officers could or would give us a reason for their actions. A complaint is being filed with the city and Philly PD Internal Affairs. Hopefully the cops receive some sort of reprimand, but I'm not holding my breath. We hear this thing happens a lot in Philly, and that the cops arrest people all the time for no reason.