Busker in Washington, DC, have had a tough time of it in the last couple of years. Transit police have been moving them on from their pitches with more-than-required firmness.
Also more than legal firmness, too. Alex Young had already faced down the Metro transit authority and had the courts put a stop to the practice; this week he went back to court and won his costs. Which by that time, had got up to USD50,000.
The Metro had made things worse for themselves by trying to argue down the costs:
Jeffrey Louis Light, a private civil rights attorney who represented Young in conjunction with the Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville group that advocates for civil liberties, said Metro’s decision to contest the fees increased them by about $20,000 as the issue was drawn out in court.Jeffrey had a further burn for the transportation authority:
“They’re a business,” said Light, who will take home $33,447.10 in the case at hourly rates of up to $661. “They need to make sensible business decisions. This is not one of them.”
“They spent time arguing over whether this guy should have his guitar case open, and for what?” he said.The head of the Metro, Paul J. Wiedefeld, is currently learning the chords from The Boxer in order to cover the costs.