Two Gallants finally spoke out about the incident in Houston this past weekend, dishing their side of the story to Pitchfork. Tyson Vogel and Adam Stephens claim that the officer was unprovoked in his actions, and that they had no real idea what was happening at the time. Given Jeff Tweedy’s reaction when a fan charged the stage at a recent Wilco gig, rockers gotta watch their backs these days, ya know?
Stephens also told Pitchfork that the group is planning legal action and they are encouraging all witnesses to document and share their accounts. Mainstream media, which Stephens appropriately notes were not there to witness the melee, have represented the event as a rock show that turned on the police officer, contrary to every first-person account that has been made.
A Myspace page has been set up for witnesses to post their accounts and encourage those in attendance to speak out publicly against the HPD’s actions. An earlier page dedicated to the event was taken down by Myspace after some fans posted threatening and inappropriate comments, but the new site stresses that this event is indeed serious and is treating it with the due respect it deserves.
A recent blog post on the site recounted Tuesday’s city council meeting where a group gathered to make their case before the mayor:
We waited somewhere around three hours before we had an oppurtunity to make our point but I think we did a very fair job of doing so. To all those who spoke in front of a very intimidating city council/mayor, thank you.
Another good thing that came out of this was that an invesitgator from the Internal Affairs Division took our testimonies so that they can use it to figure out what to do next. As far as what happens now we’re not too sure but we have done everything we can so far. I still encourage people to write our officials and make reports when they are necessary. Please do not take anything out on law enforcement. I found out that the reason why myspace pulled the plug on the last page was because people were posting comments about the officer and promoting violence against him. I am not defending the officer and we can all agree that something needs to be done to hold him accountable. That part is not up to us. Let’s do what we can through the channels we are given in this political system. Hopefully something good will come from this. If anything, this shows how when we get together and ask to be taken seriously we can address issues in a stong diplomatic manner.
Another poster to the site also offered up information to contact HPD Internal Affairs’ Sgt. Carr at (713) 308 – 8900.
Among the more interesting parts of Two Gallants’ interview with Pitchfork was this little tidbit from Stephens recounting what happened after he was tasered in the stomach:
“Everything after that, it’s pretty much what other people have told me,” he said. “I can’t speak for anything else that happened. I spent the night running away. I spent the next forty minutes running through pitch black streets in Houston. I just didn’t know where I was going. Eventually some really nice kids found me, they went biking out to look for me, and they found me and called their friend to pick me up, and put me on the ground in the back of their car and drove me to another friend’s house and kept me there and let me relax and hid me for a little bit.”
More information can also be found on the Two Gallant’s message board.