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It probably won't be news to anyone in the new music scene, but this account of vicious New York city police thuggery may be a surprise to many of my readers, even those who have seen my Chief Smolka posts; and even those who are familiar with the police camp that the Village's Washington Square Park has become in recent years. Smolka is in charge of the street crimes unit which assaulted the Broken Social Scene's Dave Newfield in the park last Thursday.

The cop's official title is "Commanding Officer Patrol Borough Manhattan Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka," according to the NYPD site. I call him very dangerous.

Who will protect us from those who say they will protect us?

This is an excerpt from the pitchforkmedia report:

So, [his friend] exchanges $20 with a dealer in the park while Newfeld stands by watching the events unfold. As Newf tells it: "We walk around the corner, and all the sudden I'm tackled in a football style attack, like a mugger would do, you know? You grab the person and catch them by surprise and they ambush in a football tackle. And then they're like, 'Police, police, police! Fucking put your hands behind you!'" Due to the lax drug laws in Canada [his home], Newfeld says he didn't connect what he assumed to be a mugging with his schwag score, assuming the "police" claim was a ploy by thugs to keep their victims passive for an easy stick-up.

"They started punching me in the face and beating the shit out of me and throwing me on the ground, so I'm trying to get away-- not fight them back, because I'm not capable of that, but just to escape. And then they threatened to break my hand and I'm like, "No, don't break my hand! I'm a musician. I gotta fuckin' play tomorrow! And so I'm really freaking out, and at that point I thought, 'Just take my wallet, whatever. Don't break my hand. My wallet's not worth it.'" By now, Newfeld's pal was cuffed on the ground, and finally decided it was time to break the news: "They're cops! Submit!" Oh, and P.S., whoops!

After being thrown in the back of a paddywagon, Newfeld was left to sit with a handful of shady characters while the 5-0 went around picking up other perps. He was then taken back to the station in pretty poor shape, strip-searched (whuh-oh), and, having been left in a cell for an hour or two, taken to Bellevue Hospital to have his beatings checked out. It turned out he'd suffered two cracked ribs. While in his hospital bed, he was given a report detailing the charges against him-- four counts of assaulting an officer and possession-- which still stand as of press time.

[image from pitchforkmedia; story tip from a reader, whose email subject line read, "where's there's smolka, there's fire..."]