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Cop Recites Law That Says Busking Is Legal, Then Arrests Busker

10.20.14 Bucky Turco

The excerpt below is Section 1050.6 of the MTA’s official rules of conduct (emphasis added).

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; solicitation for religious or political causes…

It’s also what the NYPD officer in a recently uploaded YouTube video reads to a subway performer that he then arrests. As the cop recites the statute, NYC-based musician Andrew Kalleen, nods along and can be seen gesturing as if he has been vindicated. Nope.

The officer orders Kalleen to leave, but he informs the officer that he’s going to to get back to the perfectly legal practice of busking. Soon after some additional officers arrive, he is then put in cuffs and escorted off the platform. The crowd boos.

Earlier on, when the person filming the encounter (and others) questioned the cop, he snapped back: “First of all, it’s none of your business.”