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Underground acrobats claim they’re trying to make a living, earn cash, and be a part of New York City culture, but New York police say what they’re doing is a safety issue.
The New York Police Department is on a hunt to crack down and arrest these performers. More than 240 people have been arrested on misdemeanors related to acrobatics, reported the Associated Press.
One performer, Besnkheru, thinks the crackdown is outrageous. “We all, as New Yorkers, get these force fields around us. We just try to go inside the train and change the vibe,” he said.
Other performers believe it is a part of the New York culture.
“We’re not just knuckleheads... We’re actually about something. There's no reason for being locked up for doing what you love,” former performer Andrew Saunders said.
Police Commissioner William Bratton disagrees. He believes the performances can lead to much more. As a part of his “broken windows” policy, the acrobats will be shown no mercy, reported the New York Observer.
“Is it a significant crime? Certainly not," Bratton said. "Does it have the potential both for creating a level of fear as well as a level of risk that you want to deal with?”
To track down the performers, police will study passenger complaints, and will be riding the subways in plainclothes.