This Cop Will Actually Make You Side with a Fedora-Wearing Busker

Officer reads rule allowing subway busking, goes ahead and arrests subway busker anyway.

Oct 20 2014, 3:53pm

Is there anything worse than a guy wearing a fedora, playing an acoustic guitar? That was a rhetorical question because the answer is no. There is nothing worse than that. But if there’s anyone who can make us side with the fedora-clad singer/songwriters of the world, it’s the NYPD.

Here’s one of New York’s finest captured on video harassing a busker at the Metropolitan Avenue subway station in Brooklyn. The busker, Andrew Kalleen, is seen arguing with the cop before having him read Section 1050.6c of the MTA’s Rules of Conducts and Fines which states:

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

Just to highlight that last part: “The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority… artistic performances.” After the cop reads this section out loud, those waiting on the platform begin to applaud, as they possess basic reading comprehension skills. But Officer Illiterate seems to have confused the meaning of the words “permitted” and “prohibited” and calls for backup. Other officers come and forcibly eject Kalleen from the station while a crowd gathers around and onlookers boo the cops and yell, “There’s no reason for this!” and “There are crack dealers in New York City and you’re arresting this man for playing guitar.”

According to Gothamist, Kalleen was arrested and charged with loitering and was noted by the NYPD as being a "transit recidivist"—someone with an open ticket or warrants.

Also worth noting: in this entire eight-minute video, not one G train went by in either direction. G trains and the NYPD: New York's most incompetent institutions.