Sections

Graffiti war comes to DUMBO

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

There’s a new chapter in the never-ending war between graffiti writers and the police — a book penned by a retired cop has sparked outrage in the scribbling community.

And luckily for Brooklyn bystanders, the two sides are poised to butt heads at a forum at the powerHouse Arena in DUMBO.

On March 19, graffiti writers will duke it out with Joseph Rivera, whose newly released book, “Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004,” details his experiences chasing taggers.

But graffiti “artists” say it’s a fallacy-filled fiction by a man who used unscrupulous tactics to put graffitists in jail — and is now attempting to use their names and art to put money in his bank account.

“This book doesn’t have any value — literary or documentary,” said former graffiti artist Ket, who claims that the book includes his uncredited photographs. “It’s trash and it’s inaccurate.”

Rivera maintains that “Vandal Squad” is a truthful and a valuable resource for anyone interested in taking a closer look at the city’s vandals and the officers who lock them up.

“Many individuals have written about their lives with no backlash, the fact that I am providing the reader with a different insight of graffiti disturbs certain individuals,” said Rivera.

“There is nothing hypocritical about chronicling my career in the Transit Police. It would have been hypocritical if I worked for all those years combating graffiti, and then decided to become a ‘graffiti vandal’ after I retired.”

Rivera and Ket will be joined at the panel discussion by retired Vandal Squad officers Ken Chiulli and Steven Mona, as well as graffiti writer Cope2, former tagger Ellis Gallagher, and street art blogger Stern Rockwell.

Joe Rivera, author of “Vandal Squad,” at the powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. between Water and Front streets in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049], March 19, 7 pm. Free.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Ace from New Utrecht says:
graffiti=vandalism

I will never forgive nor forget the Brooklyn Museum's glorification of this willful destruction of public and private property.
March 12, 2009, 11:27 am
nik from 47th says:
—— this
May 24, 2010, 3:21 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.