A New York subway performer was arrested and violently assaulted by a NYPD officer for the crime of inadvertently making the officer look like a fool. Street performer Andrew Kalleen, 30, was arrested Friday of last week after explaining to the officer he was allowed to sing in the New York City subway the officer was patrolling, pointing to Section 1050.6c of the MTA’s transit rules, which specifically says “artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations” are permitted so long as they don’t impede transit activities.
Here’s the relevant part of the code so you can read it for yourself.
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 […]
While the officer brings the code up on his phone, he reads it out loud in front of a newly gathering crowd all filming with their phones. When he reads the part showing artistic performance is permitted, the crowd goes wild, yet the officer evidently shows he’s one of the cops hired specifically for his low IQ, as he says the code actually says his performance is not “permitted” and instead requires a permit!
As everyone around him knows he’s in the right, Kalleen starts to defiantly play his guitar and performs Pink Floyd’s “Wish you were here.”
The cop, unsure of what to do, decides to violently assault Kalleen by placing his hands on him and tearing his hand away from his guitar. The cop orders him to stop and takes his guitar off and puts it on the ground next to him. Standing up for himself, Kalleen picks his guitar back up and continues to perform, to which the cop responds by again violently assaulting him, ripping his guitar off him once more, then arresting him to boos and “f*ck the police” chants of a now large crowd of onlookers.
The NYPD told The Gothamist after his arrest Kalleen was later charged with loitering, and they say he does require a permit for his performance as he is a “transit recidivist” which The Gothamist says may be “someone having an open ticket or warrant, perhaps related to turnstile jumping or a similar offense.”
Of course, all this is is evidence cops can manufacture any reason to charge anyone with anything long after the fact, as it’s clear from the video he arrested him based off his misreading of the transit rules.