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New York City Mayor Eric Adams defended the arrest of a subway saxophonist calling it “proper policing” after a video has gone viral of the man’s arrest.
Jazz Ajilo, known by “dancing is happiness” on social media, is a beloved musician known for performing at the same location of 34th and Herald Square off and on for the last five years.
Last week he was arrested by six NYPD officers when they claimed Ajilo refused to comply with police orders to leave the location and hand over his identification.
The conversation preceding the arrest is not audible on video, but after a few moments of being surrounded by six NYPD officers, Ajilo is then grabbed by officers as they attempt to place him in handcuffs.
“Help me! Help me!” Ajilo yells as all six officers grab him.
“Officer, why are you arresting me?” he shouts.
“I’m proud of those officers. They weren’t abusive. They didn’t yell at the person,” said Mayor Eric Adams.
NYC Mayor is fine with treatment of NYC subway saxophonist
According to the MTA, subway performances are allowed as long as they abide by the rules.
A spokesperson for the NYPD claimed they received “multiple complaints from the MTA,” in regards to Ajilo.
“People not paying their fare, they have been doing it for years. People disrupting and littering have been there for years. That’s the problem. We have a subway system that is out of control,” said Adams.
Video showing dozens of NYPD officers went viral earlier this year as officers bypassed paying the fare for the subway, and were not masked even though NYC was still under a mask mandate at the time.
On his YouTube page, Ajilo said that he was given “four pink tickets”, his wrist was injured from the handcuffs, saxophone was damaged, and property broken once returned to him.
A GoFundMe page was set up by Ajilo to be used for court and attorney fees as well as lost income, he said. Ajilo says he has four Autistic children that he supports with his “dancing is happiness” music playing.