A New York City subway musician was arrested early Friday even after an officer read aloud that what he was doing was perfectly legal.
Andrew Kalleen was singing and playing his guitar in a New York City subway station Friday when an NYPD officer stopped him. The officer told Kalleen that he was not allowed to perform without a permit.
In response, Kalleen told the officer to read Section 1050.6 of the MTA’s Rules of Conduct & Fines, which states “artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations” are permitted by the Authority. The officer read the entirety of it out loud.
“Except as expressly permitted in this subdivision, no person shall engage in any nontransit uses upon any facility or conveyance. Nontransit uses are noncommercial activities that are not directly related to the use of a facility or conveyance for transportation. The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority, provided they do not impede transit activities and they are conducted in accordance with these rules: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations.”
The onlookers applaud as the officer reads the law. He then proceeds to tell the singer that he is being ejected anyway. The singer refuses to leave and goes back to playing the guitar, receiving a round of applause from the onlookers.
A crowd continues to grow with onlookers calling out the officer. The officer’s backup arrives and they arrest Kalleen, taking him, his guitar, and donations from the scene.
Kalleen is one of many subway performers and panhandlers who have been arrested this year under NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton’s crackdown on so-called quality of life crimes, according to Gawker. A police department spokesman told Gothamist that the singer was a “transit recidivist” — meaning he had previously committed some kind of transit violation—and that he was arrested not for performing, but loitering.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, an Indiana traffic stop was caught on video and a lawsuit is claiming the police used excessive force because they broke the glass in a door window and used a taser during a simple traffic stop.
What do you think of the action taken even after the law was read that gave permission?