It's not often that a police officer will explain to you why what you're doing is perfectly legal just before he puts you in handcuffs, but that's exactly what happens to a New York City subway platform musician in the video above.
The beginning of the clip sees a police officer asking singer/guitarist Andrew Kalleen to leave the Metropolitan Ave G Train platform, citing his lack of permit. Kalleen refuses, rightly arguing that he doesn't need a permit to perform, and eventually, the cop reads section 1050.6(c) of the New York City Transit Authority's rules of conduct aloud:
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.
The rule clearly states that artistic performance is permitted, but after some squabbling, Kalleen, who continues singing throughout, is arrested anyway. Between his self-righteous shtick—"Ohio," Neil Young's Kent State massacre protest song, was a little more than the situation called for—and the officer's willingness to contradict the rule he read just minutes before, the whole thing makes for a sad comedic spectacle.
Kalleen is one of many subway performers and panhandlers who have been arrested this year under NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton's crackdown on so-called quality of life crimes. A police department spokesman told Gothamist that the singer was a "transit recidivist"—meaning he had previously committed some kind of transit violation—and that he was arrested not for performing, but loitering.