New York Times: Instead of Arrests, Subway Dancers Are Getting a Stage Above Ground

New York Times: Instead of Arrests, Subway Dancers Are Getting a Stage Above Ground

For years, it was the sight that stopped “showtime”: a plainclothes officer, rising to identify himself aboard a New York City subway car and greeting tip-seeking break dancers with handcuffs.

Arrests for performers onboard trains more than doubled last year. The “acrobats,” as Police Commissioner William J. Bratton called them, were held up as a signpost of disorder underground; enforcement against them, the commissioner said last year, was “soaring.”

But in recent months, police officers underground have quietly begun delivering a sharply different message on small palm cards handed to the scofflaw showmen they encounter.

“Make money,” the cards read. “Avoid arrest. Dance!”

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