Neighbors angry after police shutdown block party - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Neighbors angry after police shutdown block party

An entire neighborhood is outraged after police broke up what officers say was an out of control block party. An entire neighborhood is outraged after police broke up what officers say was an out of control block party.

(WMC-TV) – An entire neighborhood is outraged after police broke up what officers say was an out of control block party.

Police say they had to break up a large, out-of-control crowd, but members of the crowd say the police busted up a peaceful block party.

It's caused an emotionally charged, acrimonious situation on Smith Ridge Road.

Melvin Montgomery was shot and killed in May 2006. Sunday would have been his 27th birthday so people on Smith Ridge Cove threw a block party in his memory.

"We had a lot of kids out here," said Boo Gotti. "We weren't doing nothing but having a little party for the neighborhood."

"Only thing you had to do was come out and have a good time," said DeAngelo Dale. "We had the bouncy (house) for the kids. We had Hello Kitty come out here dressed up personally. We had the horses out here. It was an environment for the family."

But it ended early when eight people were arrested.

"Police said, 'Tone it down.' We toned it down, took it in the yard," said Charles Butler. "They come bust through the gates, bust through the door, pulling people out the yard, slamming people, throwing us around."

Butler just bonded out of jail.

So did DeAngelo Dale.

"My back, neck, and everything hurt," he said.

They say police used pepper spray in the yard and in the house affecting some elderly people like Gloria Pearson and even some children like nine-month-old Kennya.

But police say the gathering was unruly.

According to an affidavit of complaint, the crowd refused to stop and disperse when police showed up.

When police tried to make arrests, they say one woman grabbed a black metal pole while other people were struggling, refusing, yelling and screaming at officers.

Yet the crowd sees things differently.

"It was zero understanding with the police," said Dale.

While party clean-up was underway, many people said they're perplexed.

"There was no drugs, no guns, no violence, no nothing," said Danielle Love. "So we're wondering where that came from. Why?"

And party-goers say they're prepared to continue questioning what happened on Smith Ridge Road.

Memphis police stand by the arrests and encourage anyone who feels mistreated by police to contact the MPD's Internal Affairs Bureau.

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