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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:30am

    Maybe all this time cops have been exhibiting jealous rage because they don't know how to dance or use a camera?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:32am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trish, 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:35am

    Subway

    No happiness allowed in the subway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:36am

    Typo

    "privelage"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Scott M, 20 Jul 2012 @ 9:51am

      Re: Typo

      Yeah. If only someone would invent some bit of software that could check your spelling and offer suggestions, then things like this would stop entirely. But I guess I'm living in a dreamworld; how could software possibly be that smart? :-)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ninja agent dan, 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:37am

    “That’s when eight ninja cops came from out of nowhere."
    There is sooo much win in that statement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      I agree.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      lucidrenegade (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      300 pound ninja cops

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Groove Tiger (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 9:18am

      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

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      it's an insult to ninjas

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wally (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:38am

    Memo

    "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?"

    No worries Tim, it's just the NYPD. They've been lined in the pockets of the Port Authority as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2012 @ 9:23am

      Re: Memo

      Maybe this is a conspiracy on the part of the NYPD to bankrupt NYC as people sue the fecal material out of the city.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Doe, 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:38am

    Seems extremely easy to get arrested any more

    It seems all you have to do to get arrested anymore is do something someone else doesn't like, especially the cops. I guess the US is a Police state now?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mr. Smarta** (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:42am

    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!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spointman (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:43am

    I swear to God, I had to check my calendar and make sure it's not April 1st when I read this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:45am

    I really feel sorry for the population at large when people start wearing Google Glasses. It will be like a ninja cop free for all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 7:56am

    Question;

    What is the percentage chance that if, instead of this NY couple, the "offending dancer" was Kate Upton in a bikini, she never would have been arrested.

    And what does that say?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 8:02am

      Re: Question;

      Ninjas are professional. They wouldn't let some cleavage get in the way of the law.

      (I just learned how to write that even though I regularly read it, thank you Google for the handy "Did you mean: cleavage" suggestion. Hopefully all those suggestions of images won't get me fired.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Tim Griffiths (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re: Question;

        I'm highly dyslexic and this some what limits the help that spell checkers can provide. A mix of spelling and grammar checks can help but the truth is if I get a spelling partly right a list of "correct" spellings a bit like it does not help me pick the right one. That, of course, is only an issue if my spelling is not so out of whack that it's beyond the help of a spell check at all.

        That's where google shines and it shines because of one simple thing. Context. Give the word that I can't spell and a spell check can't help with a context and feed it in to google and it will most of the time present me with the correctly spelled option which I can then check to make sure it means what I think it does.

        This way of dealing with spelling is quickly becoming rather common among pretty much every one I know and it's I think one of the quite but very important changes going on in the world at the moment.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Greg G (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 9:23am

      Re: Question;

      The "offending dancer" would be arrested (and recorded) for "decent exposure" and detained indefinitely by the aforementioned ninja cops.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 1:25pm

      Re: Question;

      I'm pretty sure they would have to make sure she was hiding anything under those funbags. A strip search would probably be in order.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Paul Hobbs (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 2:56pm

      Re: Question;

      That ugly skank? Wouldn't have made a lick o' difference.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Cory of PC (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 8:10am

    Well, I got something to do the next time when I'm in New York. All I need is a soundtrack, some back-up dancers, and I'll be set to hit the subways and dancing to the end of the line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 8:10am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 8:18am

    'The ninja cops then alledgedly tackled Hess to the floor'

    this was obviously a 'take down' on copyright grounds. which one(s) i am not sure, but there must be a few

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jacques of france, 20 Jul 2012 @ 9:06am

    Reality meets parody apparently
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGVFgX3JSRY

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Call me Al, 20 Jul 2012 @ 9:33am

    This couple surely should have just pointed out to the police that they can dance if they want to.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPau5QYtYs



    p.s. I'm so sorry... I couldn't help it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 9:39am

    not only were they dancing but it was obvious from their expressions and mannerisms that they were enjoying themselves as well. the police thought it best that they were arrested so as to not infect anyone else with their happiness.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 9:58am

    "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?"

    unless its a mosh pit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 10:29am

    Put those officers to death.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 10:31am

    "dancing people with cameras don't necessarily need to be tackled"

    -- and the terrorists have won.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    gorehound (profile), 20 Jul 2012 @ 11:40am

    Man in Blue
    Watcha gonna do when they come for you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Yes because, you know... a NYP article that states nothing else than quotes, doesn't show any actual pictures or the video is to be taken seriously... seriously. Made up story? Attention whoring?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 12:54pm

    If they keep this up, the networks are gonna have a new reality show called Dancing Behind Bars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    abc gum, 20 Jul 2012 @ 6:14pm

    Keep it classy NYC !

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2012 @ 6:57pm

    Wow USA is a fascist country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), 21 Jul 2012 @ 7:18am

    both

    "" Show me your papers ""

    Nazi Germany or USA today ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2012 @ 7:53am

    Blame Hollywood

    Well I think the whole thing is Hollywood's fault, it it hadn't been for that subversive Gene Kelly...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmCpOKtN8ME

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jul 2012 @ 9:17am

    Why the discrimination? Why wasn't the musician arrested for 'inciting dance'????

    Why wasn't the 'home challenged' musician playing in the subway also arrested?

    Wasn't he the one ultimately responsible? No music means no dancing....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Loung1984 (profile), 27 Aug 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Seems that any reason is good enough to get arrested

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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