This past Friday, October 17, musician Andrew Kalleen (photo: Frank Franklin II) was arrested for performing music in a Brooklyn subway station. A bystander captured the entire event on video—which has since gone viral—as it unfolded.
The nearly eight minute clip begins with the officer telling Kalleen that he needs to leave, claiming, “The transit authority says that you cannot play down here without a permit.” Kalleen rebukes the statement, and then has the officer read aloud the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s rules of conduct, which says artistic performances and acceptance of donations are indeed permitted.
Despite proving his legality, the police officer then threatens to eject Kalleen from the station. After refusing again, the officer calls backup and Kalleen plays Pink Floyd's “Wish You Were Here.”
By this point, somewhat of a crowd had begun to gather. After getting a majority of the way through “Wish You Were Here,” the officer comes over and jerks the guitar off of Kalleen, yet Kalleen still finishes the song a cappella.
Following some more back and forth rebuttals between the two, Kalleen begins playing Neil Young’s protest anthem “Ohio,” before his is ultimately forced to his knees, handcuffed and taken away by a group of police officers.
According to CBS 2, while Kalleen was initially charged with loitering during his performance of “Ohio,” his arrest has since been voided. CBS New York also added that the officer involved will be retrained and does not face any disciplinary action.
A protest took place last night at the Metropolitan Ave. Station, which was organized by Matthew Christian of the BUSK-NY advocacy group.
You can watch the video below. Have you ever witnessed something along the lines of what happened to Kalleen over the weekend?