I was born and bred on the streets of the Bronx in New York City. I spent the initial twenty years of my life riding the subway and thus became acquainted with rules of behavior on this method of transportation. The most important rule taught me was to “mind your own business.” If some people wanted to sing on the subway, let them blast away. If some people came asking for coins, just shut your eyes and pretend to be asleep. Actually, I did enjoy listening to young boys and girls sing since it made the journey more enjoyable. As long as others kept their hands off my body, let them perform and be happy was my slogan of life. Andrew Kalleen was playing music and singing on a subway platform when challenged by police to cease and desist. He refused. Actually, Mr. Kalleen cited the New York City Transit code which specifically allows “artistic performances” and even allows “kindly acceptance of donations.”
This response was to New York City police a defiance. Police continued to insist that one needed a “permit” to sing. The police were wrong and they were further wrong to arrest Mr. Kalleen. The real issue why are police wasting their time arresting people for legally singing in the subway? This is just another example of the fallacy of our “broken windows” theory which insists upon arresting small crimes in order to prevent more important ones. How about New York police entering Wall Street offices and enforce laws against small crimes? Oops, all they would find would be LARGE CRIMES!
Songs never caused people to fear for their lives!!