That awkward moment when your average citizen knows more about the law than the police do.
Andrew Kalleen, 30, a street musician, was playing in the subway station, which is totally legal (as long as you aren't in the way — he was against the wall). A police officer disagreed.
Andrew had been stopped by police on six previous occasions, had gotten two previous tickets, and decided he'd had enough. Andrew told him the number of the law. The police officer then read the law that protected Andrew out loud. And didn't understand that the law was on Andrew's side.
So the officer, with the help of his fellow officers and to the great annoyance of everyone in the station, arrested Andrew. According to Andrew's account in Rolling Stone, when the officer realized he didn't have anything to arrest him on upon getting in his vehicle,
"my officer was frantically looking through his phone to try to find some law to charge me with..."
By the end of the video, everyone was booing and speaking out on the performer's behalf.
Watch the whole thing here:
The law the officer cited was as follows (emphasis mine):
Section 1050.6c of the NYC transit authority rules state: "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."
In a interview with the New York Daily News, Andrew doesn't really blame the officer.
"I do sympathize with [the officer]," Kalleen said. "He's sort of a cog in a larger problem that's encouraging that behavior."
If the police don't know the rules, how can we expect them to enforce them properly? Educate officers in the law and teach them to de-escalate (along with body cameras, more oversight, etc...) . It's a win for all.
In the interim, Andrew is still waiting to find out the status of his arrest.