New York cop’s arrest of subway musician goes wild and viral

New York cop’s arrest of subway musician goes wild and viral


norman lebrecht

October 21, 2014

The musician is sure he knows the law. The cop is sure he knows better. This is only going one way, and that’s down.

musician subway

In a video uploaded to YouTube on Saturday, Lawrence and Leigh musician Andrew Kalleen is seen being assaulted and arrested by NYPD- even after knowing his rights and proving to the officer that he had not broken any laws. More here. Anybody want to bail him out?

Almost half a million people have watched by now.


  • Louise says:

    This video serves, yet again, to show the world that the United States is no longer what we all believed it was, namely a free, open, democratic society. Between the monitoring and recording of all of their citizens calls, emails and movements on a level that the former East German Stasi would have been totally impressed by, to tasering old frail people who don’t comply fast enough with 50,000 volts of electricity, to executing their citizens with dubious cocktails of poisons acquired from dubious sources, with often terrifying consequences, to raiding peoples homes in the middle of the night, by 12 member militarised SWAT teams, smashing the door down in the search for a suspected marijuana plant in the garden, to the police shooting to death two unarmed black juveniles, on average, every single week, this story about the arrest of a busker for singing, when it is allowed, is not a surprise.
    The surprise is that the U.S populace continue to believe that they are God’s chosen people and want to spread their “freedom” on the rest of the world. Nobody is drinking their Kool-Aid anymore. The question is when will that oppressed nation and its ever obedient people wake up, before it is too late?

  • Paul Thomason says:

    As long as the Koch Brothers and their multibillionaire pals make sure the average American has enough money to get in their cars and drive to WalMart to buy cheap goods (made by slave labor overseas), Americans will continue to go along with whatever the Koch Brothers and their bought politicians want to dish out. After all, all this police state activity is keeping us safe from the terrorists and, besides Jesus is coming again very soon (so believe the masses).

  • John Borstlap says:

    An arrest would be appropriate because the guy really cannot sing.

  • Thomas says:

    What a waste of public funds and a waste of police time, especially when singing in the underground, or subway, is supposedly completely legal in New York. I agree entirely with the first comment here, in that the U.S. personally reminds me more and more of my own place of birth, the totalitarian former DDR (East Germany) a human nightmare, a dystopia, where any notion of freedom, privacy and free thought were suppressed, where your letters were read, your telephone calls listened to and recorded and you could be arrested and imprisoned for singing a song in the street or subway. Sadly, in many aspects the U.S. is actually far worse than East Germany nowadays, as they have access to technology that was unthinkable in the DDR. At least my former East Germans wanted to change their situation, wanted to be free citizens, but it seems that the Americans are even too afraid to ask for change. Sad place.

  • milka says:

    Aren’t we glad we have Louise and friends to let us know how miserable
    are our lives ; where would the world be without them ?
    A thought comes to mind that one should study up on dim wits and half wits.
    Never thought I’d agree with Borstlap but
    if there ever was reason for a “musical” arrest this would be one of them .

    • Edith Portman says:

      Since you are not able to deny nor negate what Louise wrote, as everything that she mentions is factually true and could be easily found with a quick Google search, why do you refuse to face-up to the reality of the system under which you live and gloss over it, by attacking those that bring it to your attention. Being in denial won’t help you and your fellow Americans to regain democracy again.

  • milka says:

    Portman – one must assume you and Louise live in a country free of all these barbaric goings on . Could you perhaps enlighten us as to which country.
    It may be a model we could emulate .

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    Mr. Lebrecht tosses some chum in the water and all the oikophobes, Pavlovian America haters and transnational riff-raff rise in a predictable feeding frenzy. Were this to have occurred in the Moscow subway, Putin’s 50-cent Internet boiler room inmates would be baying that the musician was a CIA plant or a Ukranian terrorist and all the “progressive” types would be nodding, “Yes, of course.” Needless to say, were the musician a Teabagger or (ptui!) Republican, tasering wouldn’t be enough for the bastard.

    An isolated incident in New York – Asshole Capital of the Universe – can be projected on the whole US but for these same hysterics the suicide-bombers, child-rapists and hostage-beheaders of ISIS are in no way representative of Islam, no siree.

    If the US is such a hellhole, why do all these people try to come here legally or illegally, whatever the hazard? Perhaps Louise, Paul, Thomas and Edith should say to them, “No, no! Go instead to Europe, the land of opportunity.” There should be few Jews and Romas among them, so the Right neo-Fascists and Left “anti-Zionists” there shouldn’t be too badly discomfited.

    Whatever problems the US may have – and they are many – none will be solved by turning to Europe for solutions. Indeed, the only way the US can be destroyed is by following in Europe’s footsteps.

  • Roland says:

    As a clinical psychologist I find this exchange very interesting and quite revealing. The American psyche here clearly has an extremely hard time in accepting any form of negative criticism, bordering on cognitive dissonance. To revert to comparing one’s own situation to that of extremes, i.e. ‘we are better than ISIS’ or such similar things speaks volumes of a mentality in total and complete denial of their own grim reality. We see similar attitudes in the past and present, particularly in very tightly controlled totalitarian regimes, i.e. North Korea, Nazi Germany, the former Soviet Union. The people commenting here should not allow themselves to fall into that. Denying ones own reality is the root cause of so much suffering. I would direct these readers to a recent report by the U.S. based Cato Institute and the Canadian Fraser Institute which concluded, earlier this month, that the United States is today, and I quote, “to a large degree, the United States has experienced a significant move away from rule of law and toward a highly regulated, politicized, and heavily policed state.”
    This report was in connection with the U.S. falling to 12th place in economic freedom, far below other European democracies. If you want to deny this as well, please check it out first, as it is all over the news sites.

    • Greg Hlatky says:

      Ah, this is familiar. Disagree with the orthodoxy of the in-crowd – in this case the Zinn-Chomsky line that the US is a forever dark and bloody land without redeeming features – and you’re guilty of “denial.” In short, it’s just a way of shutting wrong-thinking people up. That may work in totalitarian societies – US university campuses, for example – but it won’t here.

      As for cognitive dissonance, here’s one: “The US is a hellhole that should grant citizen rights to its illegal immigrants.”

      However, if you’re looking for disturbed thinking, how about people who extrapolate one incident to characterize a diverse nation of over 300 million?

  • milka says:

    A clinical psychologist,what a come
    down .The US ranks 12 but still they come banging at the door . Wonder
    why ?Can it be the thought that a miserable existence in the US is still better than a miserable existence some where else. Canada ranks a little better but
    we will soon see changes in that after
    the recent Ottawa sad events. You ain’t going to see that laid back openness any more .And I am sure
    Ottawa will change its mind concerning Sharia law in Canada.