[Source: Benjamin Leatherman, Phoenix New Times] — Things got a little crazier than usual during First Friday in downtown Phoenix this past weekend after Phoenix police officers raided UM Gallery (the Fifth Street art space run by local hip-hop promoters Universatile Music) on charges of serving beer and wine without a permit. The incident started just after 10 p.m. when about a half-dozen officers shut down the gallery’s First Friday celebration, pulling the plug on a few DJs spinning hip-hop music outside on the porch in the process. The cops then detained five members of the UM posse that were inside, including promoter Reuben Martinez, artist Jules Demetrius (who’s artwork was on display), and Dusty Hickman (who also goes by the DJ handle Pickster One).
Martinez later told me that they were serving cans of PBR and cups of Charles Shaw wine (a.k.a. “Two Buck Chuck”) to patrons in exchange for a “recommended donation” to help support the gallery. Hence, he claims that they weren’t in violation of state liquor laws. The cops obviously disagreed, as Martinez, Demetrius, and three others were cited for selling booze without a permit (which is a Class 2 misdemeanor). [Note: To read the full article, click here.]