The police are not making “Kensington great again”

America has a plethora of problems.

Healthcare is in crisis, education is teetering, and we are beginning to experience that late-stage capitalism. Not all of us see eye to eye on everything, but a lot of people find camaraderie when police corruption is discussed. The recent incident here in Philly of the racist Starbucks manager calling the cops on two black men was not surprising to anyone. Cops killing unarmed people of color, children even, is tragically unsurprising.  Nor is it a shock to hear of cops victim blaming sexual assault victims. The incident I am about to relay is absolutely not as dire as systemic racism and innocent deaths that happen so frequently by the hands of cops. It is, however, a story that needs to be told.

Dark Tower V3: Ooh Baby I Like It Raw! was a party bearing many amazing facets. There were multiple rooms and floors with different genres of music and handcrafted decor. A coat check was available, and water and soda were being sold on the cheap. This was a BYOB event and the organizers involved created a safe and inclusive atmosphere.  DanceSafe, a crucial organization in the nightlife, was present upstairs. Dark Tower had something for everyone and was an event that brought the community together in a truly positive way.

My friends and I got there after 11, maybe closer to 12. We checked out The Jungle with Camp Phuck It and Techno Basement presented by Labyrinth. At one point I went upstairs and saw my friend walk outside with a stern look on his face. I walked back down the basement and told my friend what I saw. Moments later, the lights were on and we were told the party was shut down. Unfortunately, parties getting shut down by the police is nothing new, neither is how the police acted, which was not ideal from what I personally experienced.

One white and blond policewoman was particularly aggressive. It’s no surprise that she acted with a toxic masculine attitude. In an industry where police act with cowboy machismo, women officers have to act like that to gain even an iota of respect from their male co-workers. She made it difficult for people to grab their coats and literally was making fun of people like we were in high school. She was overheard saying “did any of you people look in the mirror before you left the house today?” and said to someone “your shirt is on backward, haha just kidding.”  The organizers told the police that they were not selling liquor and therefore did not have a liquor license. The police said that since they “saw beer being brought in”, they could come in. I am unsure if this was within their rights.

As if people already have so many valid reasons to fear and not respect the police (a true shame because they could serve a great need in this country), adding on bullying and unkind words are just a few more drops into the overflowing pail of police brutality and crookedness.  As the cops drove away that night, one of them was heard chanting “make Kensington great again” over the police car loudspeaker.

While I personally find that harrowing, I was informed that the police worked well with the event organizers. That is hopeful.

If you’re interested in laws, policies, and other issues regarding nightlife check out 24HrPhl. We are a collective working together towards creating the best community that we can.

Next Up:  May Itinerary

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