West Chester Busking Ordinance Borough Council
Jordan C. Norley
West Chester Borough Council
Title: President, 4th Ward
Dear Mr. Norley:
In a Philadelphia Inquirer article on July 8, 2016, you were asked about my concerns over the proposed busking ordinance and you replied, “That is just silly.” While filming police misconduct on June 21, 2016, Sergeant Deighan of the West Chester Borough Police refers to my First Amendment Rights as “non-sense”. ( see https://youtu.be/rrrZBfKH7NM )
I am a writer and have written hundreds of songs on the streets and in the parks of West Chester. Also, I create new arrangements of traditional songs. In addition, I practice with a group of musicians known as the Gay Church Band. At no time have I, nor any of the other musicians, attempted to solicit or engage in commercial activities.
Nevertheless, I and other street musicians have been targeted, swatted, harassed, assaulted and terrorized by the West Chester Police. (see http://JusticeDept.com/West-Chester-Crimes/ ) In one such incident, I was threatened by Patrolman Gregory Cugino for having an “open guitar case”. When I write and play, I often take my instruments in and out of their cases, as well as, let others play them. An open guitar case is not a commercial activity.
I am requesting the ordinance be modified to specifically exempt musicians, such as myself, to help avoid further police misconduct and crimes. The ordinance should also clearly state that an open guitar case does not constitute busking.
Will you assure me of the proper re-drafting of the proposed ordinance?
Thank you. I shall await your advice.