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Posts tagged: NYPD

Jul 03 2016

Finally!

After many months of being illegally harassed, physically evicted, threatened with jail & worse , I’m so excited that tonight, the Uptown A C E is free from one of the NYPD’s stupid, erroneous lock downs. I got to see practically everyone …. well, anyone who’s anyone  ‪#‎happydance‬ ‪#‎independence‬

ACE

Which means, I get to see Danny again! <3 Here, he’s tellin’ me he’s actually got the key to the 14th St subway bathroom. The guy is connected! ! ‪#‎busk ‪#‎thesubwaydiaries‬. ‪#‎danny‬

DANNYKEY

One of my 2 favourite cleaning guys on the Uptown A C E who always comes up to me & says, with a thick Russian Accent; “Dont’ stop thee muzeek, don’t stop thee museek…” #buskinglove

MainteneceACE

Best night ever singing Motown all night with the one & only Danny on the Uptown A C E ‪#‎busk‬ ‪#‎thesubwaydiaries‬

DannySingDannysing2

Let’s hope the NYPD has better things to go from here on out than harassing musicians

#Freedom #Busk #Independence

Jul 01 2016

Stuff Buskers text about

Stuff NYC Buskers Text About #TheSubwayDiaries #NYPD #Busk

Screenshot_2016-06-30-09-03-10

Mar 28 2016

Bi-Polar much NYPD?

Ok so tonight underground I was playing La Bamba with 4 cops behind me when all of a sudden all 4 NYPD officers started dancing. All male, shaking & wiggling their hips & waving their arms in the air. If I’d only had that on tape. It looked like the NYPD version of ‘Sister Act’

Then….not 15 minutes later I’m approached by 2 more cops (not dancing) and they demand I leave. I told them I’lm legal singing on the platform unampllified & showed them the rules, (1st Amendment violation NYPD) which they were 100% uninterested in. Then 7 more cops showed up & immediately grabbed my guitar case (4th Amendment violation guys) & started to toss things around, coins, dollars, my case, all my stuff….manually packing it up to force me out of the train. They grabbed my arm & commanded me to leave the Times Square station & said I could not enter again even to take a train or I would be immediately arrested. & sent down to Central Booking….Seriously guys? I’m singing…no amp, no nothing, just singing.

I have no idea who is training these rookie officers but, they’re gettin’ some seriously ‘bad learnin’ imo

And here’s a little 4th Amendment Violation – hanky-panky going on, courtesy of the NYPD #BuskScreen Shot 2016-03-28 at 11.34.16 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 9.59.32 PM

And this woman, whoever you are, you are my hero. You actually squeezed yourself in between the crazed officers busy pouncing on me & my gear, to drop a dollar in my case before they swept it up. I hope I see you again on the platform to tell you thank you heart emoticon ‪#‎buskinglove‬

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 11.31.47 AM

Jan 03 2015

‘In in alternate Universe’, my life just got a whole lot easier #Buskon

Rolling Stone

The NYPD’s ‘Work Stoppage’ Is Surreal

In an alternate universe, the New York Police might have just solved the national community-policing controversy.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-nypds-work-stoppage-is-surreal-20141231?page=2

workstoppage

By  | 

Brace yourselves for a weird night. There might be a little extra drama when the ball drops in Times Square, thanks to one of the more confusing political protests in recent memory.

 On a night when more than a million potentially lawbreaking, probably tipsy revelers will be crowding the most densely-populated city blocks in America, all eyes will be on the city cops stuck with holiday duty.

Why? Because the New York City Police are in the middle of a slowdown. The New York Post is going so far as to call it a “virtual work stoppage.”

Furious at embattled mayor Bill de Blasio, and at what Police Benevolent Association chief Patrick Lynch calls a “hostile anti-police environment in the city,” the local officers are simply refusing to arrest or ticket people for minor offenses – such arrests have dropped off a staggering 94 percent, with overall arrests plunging 66 percent.

If you’re wondering exactly what that means, the Post is reporting that the protesting police have decided to make arrests “only when they have to.” (Let that sink in for a moment. Seriously, take 10 or 15 seconds).

Substantively that mostly means a steep drop-off in parking tickets, but also a major drop in tickets for quality-of-life offenses like carrying open containers of alcohol or public urination.

My first response to this news was confusion. I get why the police are protesting – they’re pissed at Mayor de Blasio, and more on that in a minute – but this sort of “protest” pulls this story out of the standard left-right culture war script it had been following and into surreal territory.

I don’t know any police officer anywhere who would refuse to arrest a truly dangerous criminal as part of a PBA-led political gambit. So the essence of this protest seems now to be about trying to hit de Blasio where it hurts, i.e. in the budget, without actually endangering the public.

So this police protest, unwittingly, is leading to the exposure of the very policies that anger so many different constituencies about modern law-enforcement tactics.

First, it shines a light on the use of police officers to make up for tax shortfalls using ticket and citation revenue. Then there’s the related (and significantly more important) issue of forcing police to make thousands of arrests and issue hundreds of thousands of summonses when they don’t “have to.”

It’s incredibly ironic that the police have chosen to abandon quality-of-life actions like public urination tickets and open-container violations, because it’s precisely these types of interactions that are at the heart of the Broken Windows polices that so infuriate residents of so-called “hot spot” neighborhoods.

In an alternate universe where this pseudo-strike wasn’t the latest sortie in a standard-issue right-versus left political showdown, one could imagine this protest as a progressive or even a libertarian strike, in which police refused to work as backdoor tax-collectors and/or implement Minority Report-style pre-emptive policing policies, which is what a lot of these Broken Windows-type arrests amount to.

But that’s not what’s going on here. As far as I can tell, there’s nothing enlightened about this slowdown, although I’m sure there are thousands of cops who are more than happy to get a break from Broken Windows policing.

I’ve met more than a few police in the last few years who’ve complained vigorously about things like the “empty the pad” policies in some precincts, where officers were/are told by superiors to fill predetermined summons quotas every month.

It would be amazing if this NYPD protest somehow brought parties on all sides to a place where we could all agree that policing should just go back to a policy of officers arresting people “when they have to.”

Because it’s wrong to put law enforcement in the position of having to make up for budget shortfalls with parking tickets, and it’s even more wrong to ask its officers to soak already cash-strapped residents of hot spot neighborhoods with mountains of summonses as part of a some stats-based crime-reduction strategy.

Both policies make people pissed off at police for the most basic and understandable of reasons: if you’re running into one, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to end up opening your wallet.

Your average summons for a QOL offense costs more than an ordinary working person makes in a day driving a bus, waiting tables, or sweeping floors. So every time you nail somebody, you’re literally ruining their whole day.

If I were a police officer, I’d hate to be taking money from people all day long, too. Christ, that’s worse than being a dentist. So under normal circumstances, this slowdown wouldn’t just make sense, it would be heroic.

Unfortunately, this protest is not about police refusing to shake people down for money on principle.

For one thing, it’s simply another public union using its essential services leverage to hold the executive (and by extension, the taxpayer) hostage in a negotiation. In this case the public union doesn’t want higher pay or better benefits (in which case it wouldn’t have the support from the political right it has now – just the opposite), it merely wants “support” from the Mayor.

On another level, however, this is just the latest salvo in an ongoing and increasingly vicious culture-war mess that is showing no signs of abating.

Most everyone across the country knows the background by now. The police in New York are justifiably furious about the Saturday, December 20th ambush murder/assassination of two of their officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, at the hands of a rampage-killer from Baltimore named Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

Brinsley, who shot his girlfriend and promised on Instagram to put “wings on pigs” before coming to New York and doing the evil deed, had cited the killing of Eric Garner in his rants, saying among other things, “They took 1 of ours…let’s take 2 of theirs.”

According to the transitive theory of culpability so popular in our left-right media echo chamber, Brinsley’s monstrous act put de Blasio in the political jackpot, since both had expressed dismay about the death of Garner, an African-American man from Staten Island who died this past summer in a struggle with police over a 75-cent cigarette.

De Blasio of course never urged anyone to put “wings on pigs.” And his comment about the actual grand jury decision – that it was something “many in our city did not want” – was really just a simple statement of fact.

But de Blasio also clumsily personalized the incident, talking about his own half-black son Dante, saying that he and his wife Chirlane had had to “talk to Dante. . .about the dangers that he may face.” Then he added, “It should be self-evident, but our history requires us to say that black lives matter.”

As maximally uncontroversial as that sounds, the local tabloids went nuts over de Blasio’s remarks, bashing the boss of the nation’s biggest police force for quoting a globally-surging protest hashtag and talking about how he has to teach his own son to be wary of police.

And then Ramos and Liu were murdered in a horrible tragedy that will have lasting implications for people on all sides of the political spectrum.

The thing is, there are really two things going on here. One is an ongoing bitter argument about race and blame that won’t be resolved in this country anytime soon, if ever. Dig a millimeter under the surface of the Garner case, Ferguson, the Liu-Ramos murders, and you’ll find vicious race-soaked debates about who’s to blame for urban poverty, black crime, police violence, immigration, overloaded prisons and a dozen other nightmare issues.

But the other thing is a highly specific debate over a very resolvable controversy not about police as people, but about how police are deployed. Most people, and police most of all, agree that the best use of police officers is police work. They shouldn’t be collecting backdoor taxes because politicians are too cowardly to raise them, and they shouldn’t be pre-emptively busting people in poor neighborhoods because voters don’t have the patience to figure out some other way to deal with our dying cities.

This police protest, ironically, could have shined a light on all of that. Instead, it’s just more fodder for our ongoing hate-a-thon. Happy New Year, America.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-nypds-work-stoppage-is-surreal-20141231#ixzz3NoYQlrJb
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Dec 04 2014

Above ground, a tumultuous night in NYC

It was wild on the streets tonight, so loud it was difficult to hold a conversation on the street. The helicopters swarming overhead & masses of protesters shouting on the streets below following the Eric Garner verdict, made for a night of tossing & turning here in NYC when trying to sleep. The noise felt like a war zone / rock concert and I was very grateful to the building guards here where I live for their great efforts as they were instructed to stay overnight to keep watch out for the garage & building alike. I am glad we are on the streets. I am saddened that it’s taken such back to back tragedies to bring us to this point. And I am beyond concerned for our future rights & freedoms, whatever of them still remain, here in the United States.

One final blow was released today regarding Ramsey Orta. Ramsey Orta was the man who filmed the death of Eric Garner & was indicted yesterday here in NYC for that filming.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/03/ramsey-orta-indictment-eric-garner_n_6264746.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/nyregion/grand-jury-said-to-bring-no-charges-in-staten-island-chokehold-death-of-eric-garner.html?_r=0

march

Oct 23 2014

Successful Subway performers’ rally against wrongful arrests

With much media coverage following – see some of the coverage in links below:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/…/nypd-looking-into-arrest…/

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/37/44/dtg-busker-rally-2014-10-31-bk_37_44.html

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/arrested-singing-what-nypd-officers-are-doing-their-time

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/nypd-assault-arrest-subway-musician-reading-broke-law/#hxR2bMGTmIdHbT7u.99

http://www.infowars.com/video-buskers-unlawful-arrest-prompts-protests-on-ny-subway/

http://www.liberationnews.org/support-rally-for-nyc-subway-performers/

http://gothamist.com/2014/10/22/subway_performers_sick_of_the_nypds.php

And on the Brian Lehrer Show Wed AM

 https://www.wnyc.org/

Rally

Oct 20 2014

NYPD at it (illegally) again

 

Video: Cop Reads Law Permitting Subway Busking, Arrests Singer Anyway

http://gothamist.com/2014/10/19/video_subway_busker_arrested.php

A subway busker was arrested for loitering after a confrontation with an NYPD officer over whether or not he was allowed to be performing. The incident happened at the Lorimer Street / Metropolitan Avenue station on the southbound G train platform around 1:30 a.m. on Friday.

Here’s how the video uploader described the quality of life incident: “One of NYPD’s finest arrests a man for playing in the subway after he recites the law word for word that allows him to perform for donations,” the uploader wrote. “He continues to sing as he is being handcuffed. A “fuck the police” chant subsequently follows.” Watch the confrontation below.

 

buskerarrest

 

 

The video starts with busker Andrew Kalleen, 30, already arguing with the officer over whether or not he is allowed to be performing there. “You just need to know the law,” Kalleen says to the officer while begging him to read MTA’s own “Rules of Conduct” about the matter. As onlookers shout, “we have bigger problems in New York City than someone playing guitar,” the officer eventually reads the relevant section of the rules (Section 1050.6c, which Kalleen wisely seems to have memorized) from a phone:

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 clap at the end, but the officer is unmoved, insisting that Kalleen needs to leave: “Being ejected doesn’t mean you’re arrested, it means you’re getting thrown out of the station.” Kalleen says the officer is harassing him, and more and more people begin asking the officer under what grounds the busker is being ejected, to which the officer doesn’t respond.

Kalleen goes back to singing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” for a bit before the officer shuts him down. You can hear people yelling, “On what grounds?” “You don’t have something better to do?” and “There are people breaking laws, dangerous people in this city.”

Kalleen briefly starts singing again when the officer walks away before returning with several other cops. The officer takes the guitar off of Kalleen, hitting him in the face in the process, then arrests him. Onlookers loudly boo and start yelling “Fuck the police,” as Kalleen is taken off.

An NYPD’s spokesperson tells us that Kalleen was playing guitar, singing and accepting donations “without permit of permission” from the MTA. Because he is a “transit recidivist,” which the spokesperson explained as someone having an open ticket or warrant, perhaps related to turnstile jumping or a similar offense—he was arrested and charged with loitering. There was no mention of him impeding transit activities.

BuskNY, a coalition of freelance performers, gathered on the steps of City Hall over the summer to call for an end to officers arresting, jailing, and slamming them with pricey summonses for an activity they know to be legal under the MTA’s guidelines.

Sep 13 2014

‘Soul Knowing’

‘Best human of the night’ award goes to the homeless underground NYC tonight who really listen, they hear & never fail to give even though they most likely have less than anyone else on the platform at any given time. There’s some kind of etherial connection between me & the homeless who hear me sing. I cannot tell you exactly what it is, it’s some kind of a ‘soul knowing’, but we ‘get’ each other somehow. We rarely say anything to each other, but it’s clear, it’s in the eyes.

wheelchair-man

Aug 18 2014

ABC NEWS – NYC Subway Performers -“We’re Being Over-Policed”

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/nyc-subway-performers-policed-24951079

Subway acrobats, dancers and musicians on Tuesday decried what they said was heavy-handed policing, gathering outside City Hall to join critics of a police clampdown on minor offenses.

One activist suggested a temporary halt to subway performer arrests, which have spiked this year as officers zeroed in on minor crimes to set a tone of not tolerating lawlessness. But several performers said they just hope to arrange a way to perform without fearing arrest.

“We dance. We sing. We’re not criminals. … We shouldn’t really get locked up for showing our talent,” said Zenon “Tito” Laguerre, a 34-year-old construction worker and subway acrobat who said he was arrested last week.

The police department had no immediate response to the performers’ complaints. Mayor Bill de Blasio said last month that subway stunts may not seem like big offenses, “but breaking the law is breaking the law.”

Transit rules generally allow performing for tips in parts of subway stations, but not in trains unless artists have permits. They can use amplifiers only under certain conditions.

More than 240 subway performers have been arrested so far this year, about four times as many as during the same period last year, according to police statistics.

Some subway riders see the performers as part of the city’s anything-goes artistic environment. But others roll their eyes at hearing “it’s showtime!” on hectic commutes. Police also say subway dancing can be dangerous, though no injuries have been reported.

The rise in arrests dovetails with Police Commissioner William Bratton’s embrace of the “broken windows” theory of policing, which holds that putting up with small-time law-breaking can foster more dangerous crime. The approach has come under scrutiny since an officer used a chokehold last month in confronting a man suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes; he died after gasping “I can’t breathe!”

Bratton noted Tuesday on WNYC-FM’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” that most major crime has dropped in the city this year — although shootings have risen — and that smaller, quality-of-life offenses are offenses nonetheless.

“If people would obey the law, then they would not draw the attention of the police,” he said.

Some subway performers who comply with the rules still get arrested or told to leave, said Matthew Christian, a violinist who spearheads an advocacy group called BuskNY. Other subway performers acknowledge they’ve broken the rules but say police should focus on crime, not on what the buskers see as entertainment and entrepreneurship.

“This is New York City culture,” says Andrew “Goofy” Saunders, a 20-year-old acrobat who has stopped performing on trains amid the crackdown. “It shouldn’t be pushed away. It should be embraced.”

———

Associated Press writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

abc-logo

Aug 16 2014

This week in NYC

Beginning of the Rally/March against Police Brutality here in NYC, in Ferguson & Nationwide which ultimately moved up to Time Square where the NYPD kettled & threatened protesters  with mass arrests (last shot) #UnionSquare #TimesSquare #Ferguson #NYC
2014-08-14 18.32.012014-08-14 18.35.022014-08-14 18.32.192014-08-14 18.49.522014-08-14 18.52.352014-08-14 19.01.272014-08-14 19.07.452014-08-14 19.11.28nastaranshot