Since NYPD Commissioner William Bratton took office in January, BuskNY has observed a marked increase in the harassment of subway performers.
Freelance platform performers, who comply fully with MTA Rules, have experienced a wave of ejections, tickets, and arrests. As was recently reported, even clearly wrongful tickets require a lengthy legal challenge to dismiss. (In one of our cases, a performer required a pro bono appeal to fight a visibly wrongful ticket). Should performers without the time and resources to fight wrongful charges receive a criminal record?
Meanwhile, performers who sing and dance on trains have found themselves under arrest. In hundreds of cases, these dancers have been charged not under MTA Rule 1050.6 (c) (1) (4) (“civil penalties imposed by the transit adjudication bureau in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars per violation”), but with reckless endangerment (“a Class A misdemeanor carrying up to a year in jail time). Is this a fair penalty?
We invite performers, supporters, and media to discuss these questions, and to comment on the broader effects of Broken Window policing, at our first press conference to be held jointly with New Yorkers Against Bratton:
Tuesday, August 12, 12:00
City Hall Steps