West Chester Noise Ordinance
by Staff Writers
MOTION TO DECLARE WEST CHESTER ORDINANCE § 73-1 B (1) (B) UNCONSTITUTIONAL
WEST CHESTER, PA — The West Chester Borough Noise Ordinance is being called into question after several West Chester Police officers have used the ordinance to justify harassment, hate crimes and civil rights violations against street musicians.
Over the past several months, two musicians have been physically assaulted and arrested by West Chester Police Officers. Scores of other citations have been issued under the Borough’s noise ordinance.
One citizen who has been cited on three different occasions, was not even playing music or making noise. The individual was found not guilty in all cases, but suffered financial loss in fighting the corrupt police officers. The same person has been stalked, harassed and threatened by police officers for having filed complaints against the police officers.
On October 5, 2016, the defendant was found not guilty of a noise violation in the Court Of Common Pleas. Part of the trial included a motion to dismiss:
“The ordinance is overbroad, on its face and as applied to defendant in that it prohibits constitutionally protected expressive activity.”
The lawyer for the defendant brought a guitar into the courtroom and proved it was impossible to play the guitar under the ordinance.
“The ordinance violates the freedoms of expression as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article 1 § 7 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.”
After the hearing the Judge said, “I wish I could have found him guilty, so that I could rule on the constitutionality of the ordinance.”