“Over-policing” appears to be the story of summer 2014 and it is becoming increasingly harder to ignore this trend, even within the space of music coverage. Even if you could forget the name Eric Garner and tune out the rising roar of Ferguson, Missouri, there is Devonté Hynes AKA Blood Orange and his girlfriend Samantha Urbani being assaulted by security at Lollapalooza music festival–and right here in New York, rapper Black Dave had his jaw broken by club security in July.1
In fact, it may not be until you’re being pummeled by multiple thick-necked security goons that you even realize how over-policed clubs that have hip-hop events, specifically, tend to be. Numerous venues in the rap mecca fit this mold but perhaps Webster Hall holds the dubious honor of sitting atop that list. The experience begins with the rough, violating search patrons are subject to upon entry. “They said they smelled weed on me so they get searching me over and over again,” recalls one angry attendant. “Right in front of my girl they were feeling up my crotch… it was embarrassing.” Security’s overzealousness went unrewarded in this case, as their demeaning search turned up not a single bag of weed (and it’s a good thing they didn’t. Webster Hall, Santos Party House and several other clubs maintain a strict policy of calling police to the scene if any drugs–including small increments of marijuana–are found on any partygoers).
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