Eight local rappers have filed joint lawsuits in Manhattan Federal Court against the city and 17 cops for claims that the NYPD has violated their rights to sell their music with a slew of phony arrests.
“They don’t want us making money out here,” says rapper Andre Jackson. “I’ve been arrested over 30 times.”
NYPD confirms this number.
But authorities say the rappers aggressively shove their CDs at pedestrians, block the sidewalk, and follow potential customers down the street, resulting in charges for disorderly conduct and aggressive begging.
The rappers claim they obey the rules, including one where they’re required to stand next to tables to sell their CDs. But they’re simply treated differently than the other vendors because no one else is getting arrested.
“I want it to stop,” Jackson says. “They never arrest the spray-paint guys. They never arrest the guys who draw pictures of people. That’s considered art? My music should be considered art, too.”