This Thursday powerHouse Arena in DUMBO will play host to an event that is bringing together some former graffiti artists with the NYPD officers who busted them back in the day. In one corner, Joseph Rivera, author of Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984-2004, which documents his time with the NYPD Vandal Squad. In the other corner, street artists who have a bone to pick with the former cop for "using their names and art to put money in his bank account."
While NBC says the two parties will meet at the event for a "civil chat" about the whole thing, the Brooklyn Paper talked to retired graffiti artist Ket who told the paper, “This book doesn’t have any value—literary or documentary. It’s trash and it’s inaccurate.” Sounds like fightin' words to us! Ket also blogged about his appearance, saying "Basically I agreed to go on in order to discredit their book and to video record the conversation/panel and share it with everyone here. Those of you with warrants might want to skip this one."
Joining Ket and Rivera this Thursday will be squad officers Ken Chiulli and Steven Mona, as well as graffiti artists Cope2 (pictured), Ellis Gallagher, and street art blogger Stern Rockwell. Get a preview of what you're in for at the video on powerHouse's site.