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Excessive police force used at rock show in Houston

Last Friday, a police officer stopped a Two Gallants show in Houston and used excessive police force against the band members and some fans in the crowd. A noise complaint was made earlier, so the police officer decided to take unneccessary action to take care of the problem.

The Houston Chronicle says, "Officer G.M. Rodriguez approached management about the noise complaint, filed by a neighbor, and the volume was turned down — but that as the officer was leaving, the volume went back up, said HPD's Sgt. Nate McDuell." The officer had no other choice but to confront the guitar player and beat him down when he didn't comply with the officer's orders (See Video).

Excuse me, but that wasn't neccesary at all. If they were turning up the volume, why not approach the soundboard a second time? Why not just shut it off if it was really that bad?

The story just gets worse. The officer chases around some people, tasers a few, and knocks down a few. Around eight, more or less, officers arrive at the scene, and the two band members and some fans in the crowd get arrested.

You can read all about it on this blog here. It contains first account witnesses, videos, and pictures.

I found out about this through a bulletin that The Decemberists posted. The bulletin said:

"Hi,
If you live in Houston and want live music to still come to your town, get involved in this tragedy. So many of you have been writing to us and asking us to come to Houston. Seeing this really makes me never want to come back again...The information to file a complaint is listed at the bottom of the page. Please call in.

http://blog.myspace.com/dsharber

or

http://myspace.com/hpd_has_problems

Two Gallants are friends of ours, we toured with them in Europe. I have to say they are the nicest guys in the world. They are quiet vegans and weigh in at about 100 pounds each for god sakes. There is no way they would have done something to deserve or instigate this this kind of treatment. If you live in Houston (or beyond) you should be outraged."

The HPD_has_problems Myspace has already been taken down.

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February 2009

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