Footloose: NYC Couple Arrested for Dancing
Bert Atkinson Jr. | On 09, Jul 2012
New York City has been in the news a good bit recently. The ban on large sodas was just the beginning – now the NYPD look to get rid of dancing.
Just kidding…sort of.
The New York Post is reporting that Caroline Stern, 55, and her boyfriend George Hess, 54, were arrested and kept in custody for 23 hours for dancing on the Columbus Circle subway station platform.
“I’m a dentist, and I’m 55, and I got arrested for dancing,” Stern told the NY Post. “It was absolutely ridiculous that this happened.”
After going to see a jazz concert at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing, the couple arrived around midnight to the nearly empty platform to find a musician playing the steel drums. Inspired by the musical night they had experienced, Stern and Hess “were doing the Charleston” when the Footloose police came down.
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.’ ”
The cops asked for ID, but when Stern could only produce a credit card, the officers ordered the couple to go with them — even though the credit card had the dentist’s picture and signature.”
Hess tried to bring a camera out to film the encounter, but the police didn’t care for that.
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.”
Hess was allegedly tackled to the platform floor, and cuffs were slapped on both of them. The initial charge, according to Stern, was disorderly conduct for “impeding the flow of traffic.”
Eventually, all charges were dropped, but the couple isn’t finished with the issue; they have filed a Manhattan federal suit against the city for unspecified damages.
“If you are surrounded by good musicians, that’s going to make you want to dance,” Stern told The Post. “The musician who is playing is legal, but we’re illegal?”
New York City is lately begging the question, ‘How far is too far?’ First it was no smoking in parks, beaches and areas with high pedestrian traffic, then they banned large soda – so what is next?
Hopefully this is just an example of the police being overly cautious, but in this day and age when our individual liberties appear to be on the verge of disappearing, we need to at least be aware of what authorities are deeming ‘inappropriate.’ Nanny-states come from good intentions (like protecting residents from second-hand smoke, litter, or obesity), but we have seen our country become so great because of the freedoms we have, not because our government has been looking out for us.
How do you feel about the actions you hear of lately? For instance, the EPA is using drones to monitor farmland, NYC is banning large soda, and the U.S. government will tax you if you don’t buy health insurance – are these acts infringing upon what you consider your personal freedom?
COMMENT below and let us know what you think.