Buskers Protest NYPD Treatment

(Photo by Wendy Joan Biddlecombe via Manhattan TImes)

(Photo by Wendy Joan Biddlecombe via Manhattan TImes)

Now musicians and dancers who take to the subways are getting a taste of the NYPD’s “broken windows” tactics as police stop them from performing and charge them with misdemeanors, Wendy Joan Biddlecome reports in Manhattan Times. A group of buskers protested their treatment on the steps of City Hall on August 12, and said that the NYPD and the MTA aren’t even following published rules governing such performances.

According to Matthew Christian, a violinist who performs in the subway and serves as a volunteer with BuskNY, an advocacy group, performers are either being arrested illegally, or given charges greater than the crime.

Christian said there have been over 350 cases of subway dancers charged with reckless endangerment this year – a Class A misdemeanor – and that he knows of about 15 performers who are actively suing the NYPD for wrongful arrest. He estimates settlements could cost the city more than $100,000.

Now, artists such as dancer Andrew Shaw, 20, say they are shunning performing.

“I just don’t want to be falsely accused anymore,” Saunders said. “It’s just unfair to everyone to be attacked, to be hassled.”

For more comments from singers and other artists who feel they have been unfairly targeted and treated by the police, go to Manhattan Times.

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