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Hip-Hop Shakedown

Show comes to abrupt end after police swarm club

Donovan M. Smith | 3/4/2014, 1:07 p.m.
A sold-out Hip-Hop show at the Blue Monk ended before it got fully started Saturday night when performer Illmaculate took the stage, stating that he would not perform as a result of an ever-swelling police presence that engulfed both the immediate blocks around the southeast Portland venue, and inside the club. Photo by Colin Mclaughlin @colinmclaughlin

It should be noted that the folk music trio “Three-for-Silver” played earlier in the night and there was no police presence.

Seeing how the show had been promoted with Mikey Vegaz on the bill for well over a month, Trost says any concerns from the police could have been directed to any of the stakeholders beforehand.

“All they had to do was pick up the phone. So bars don’t lose hundreds of dollars in bar sales, artists get to perform and make money. They knew what they were doing. They knew their tactics. They knew that a constantly growing police presence was a way to metaphorically pull the plug,” he said.

Luck-One put it more bluntly that night, in regards to the Portland Police, saying "They're all a bunch of terrorists. They work for us, we don't work for them."

The City of Portland Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division announced Tuesday they will be conducting a review of the Portland Police Bureau’s policies and procedures that relate to its interactions with hip-hop music events and venues.

IPR staff members will conduct interviews with members of the community, music industry, and the Police Bureau. When IPR’s review is complete, it will issue a public report.

Officials said reviews of this nature are part of IPR’s overall mission to act on issues of community concern, “with the goals of safeguarding the rights of persons and of promoting higher standards of competency, efficiency and justice in the provision of community policing services.”

--Donovan M. Smith

Links to these musicians' latest works can be found below:

Illmaculate: illmaculate.bandcamp.com

Luck-One: luckonemusic.bandcamp.com

Mikey Vegaz: audiomack.com/album/mikey-vegaz/gkntt-1

Here's Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Erik Strohmeyer's official police report:

"While working in the Entertainment District, I was contacted by Officer Green who was doing a bar check at the Blue Monk bar. He informed me that he was there with Officer Harris as well as Rob Cruser.

Officer Green said Cruser requested I come by the Blue Monk because Cruser was very concerned about an over capacity issue at the bar and he was thinking about shutting the bar down.

Myself and Officer Ridgely drove over to the the Blue Monk to speak with Cruser. I also knew of a hip hop concert that was going on at the Blue Monk. There was a concern that gang members may be present at the concert so I called Sgt. Duilio and asked him meet me at the Blue Monk.

Once I got to the bar I met with Cruser and he was concerned about the safety of the patrons inside the bar.

The bar was well over its capacity in its basement. If an emergency were to happen in the bar there was concern that all the patrons that were in the basement would not be able to safely exit out of the building.

Because of the large crowd in the bar, and the possibility that we were going to shut down the bar, I called for multiple officers to come stand by in case they were needed to assist with the large crowd coming out of the bar. I was advised that according to the bar owner, they only had one BPSST certified security person working the event which was not sufficient due to the large number of people inside.