Couple Arrested For Dancing On NYC Subway Platform

from the waltz-the-problem-with-dancing? dept

Perhaps some day, if I manage to live long enough, somebody somewhere will be able to explain to me why the seemingly benign combination of dancing, cameras, and police tends to result in threats, beatdowns, and arrests. Recall a year ago when I had the privilege to write about protestors getting bodyslammed at the Jefferson Memorial for the horrific crime of silently dancing on the premises?

Well, Yakko Warner writes in with the story of two nefarious characters, code named George Hess and Caroline Stern, who had the gall to dance on a New York City subway platform and were taken to the ground and arrested for their trouble. As that New York Post piece explains, the couple found themselves near a musician playing on steel drums:

“We were doing the Charleston,” Stern said. That’s when two police officers approached and pulled a “Footloose.”
“They said, ‘What are you doing?’ and we said, ‘We’re dancing,’ ” she recalled. “And they said, ‘You can’t do that on the platform.’ ”

And so, as their training manuals surely instructed them to do, the officers demanded to see their IDs. Because they were dancing. Where someone was playing the drums. In the most cosmopolitan and culturally-rich city in America. In any case, when Hess could only produce a credit card (which had his name and photo on it), this happened:

“The officers ordered the couple to go with them — even though the credit card had the dentist’s picture and signature. When Hess began trying to film the encounter, things got ugly, Stern said.“We brought out the camera, and that’s when they called backup,” she said. “That’s when eight ninja cops came from out of nowhere.”

The ninja cops then alledgedly tackled Hess to the floor, cuffed both of them, and detained the pair for twenty-three hours. The initial charge was apparently impeding the flow of traffic of what is reported to have been three other people on the platform. The police then added other charges, such as resisting arrest.

All charges were subsequently dropped when the paperwork was finally reviewed by the NYPD’s Not Crazy Department. The couple are now suing in Manhattan courts, but maybe it’s time a national memo went out to law enforcement agencies reminding them that dancing people with cameras don’t necessarily need to be tackled?

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Comments on “Couple Arrested For Dancing On NYC Subway Platform”

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66 Comments
DannyB (profile) says:

Did the couple have authorization and license to be performing the specific dance they were doing?

Were they licensed to be listening to the music they were hearing?

Perhaps the particular style of dance was a trademark of some other famous dancer, and this was infringement?

Think of the children! Kids present might have seen the couple dancing and might bet ideas — like that life can be enjoyed by them and their comrades, er, um… I meant citizens.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh-oh-oh-oh…

Everybody was Kung Fu’ing dancers, those pigs were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit fright’ning, but they were busted with expert timing

There was funky policemen from funky Police Town
They were chopping them up, they were chopping them down
It’s an ancient fascist art, and everybody knew their part
From a feint into a slip, then I’m kicked in the hip

Everybody was Kung Fu’ing dancers, those pigs were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit fright’ning, but they were busted with expert timing

There was funky Nabby Jones and little Johnny Law
He said, here comes the big boss, let’s get it on
We took the cam and made a stand, started swaying with the band
A sudden motion made me skip, now we’re into a brandnew trip

Everybody was Kung Fu’ing dancers, those pigs were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit fright’ning, but they were busted with expert timing

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Seems extremely easy to get arrested any more

You mean this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/12/boy-suspended-for-farting_n_861014.html

I live in Ohio. I find this to be a remarkably idiotic decision on their part. Is snoring a noise violation? Perhaps they think woman should be forced to wear a veil because of their gender.

Mr. Smarta** (profile) says:

But.... but....

But that’s how “terrorists” operate! Al Qaeda tells its members to ‘dance’. And that leads to all sorts of national security issues. The Charleston??? Don’t they realize that could lead to worse things like… the Mashed Potato? Or The Hustle? Or God forbid, The Running Man??? We can’t have that!

Dancing leads to dating… And dating leads to marriage… And marriage leads to divorce… And divorce leads to violence! And violence is used by terrorists!! So using logic, dancing must lead to terrorism. So we have to stop dancing wherever and whenever possible. Can’t you all see this?? It’s horrible!!! Oh, the humanity!!

Anonymous Coward says:

I'm not saying it was aliens, but...

Dance, and you get arrested. Record a cop, and you get arrested. Do both, and you get beaten up. Question the higher-ups on the matter, and you get half-baked excuses.

There can only be one explanation: Aliens, with soul-stealing cameras and mind-control dances. We’d have already been conquered by now if it wasn’t for the FBI’s secret rapid response team, cleverly disguised as ordinary policemen.

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