Per a report from the SF Examiner, SFPD officers have been silencing buskers near San Francisco’s Union Square by confiscating their instruments.
“What they’re really doing is they are seizing their instruments to intimidate those musicians,” said Seth Meisels, a deputy public defender. Meisels noted, in most cases, the musicians aren’t charged but rather are cited and lose their instruments for long periods because police say the seized items are evidence.
“These musicians have told me that SFPD is working as private security for the St. Francis — that seems about right,” Meisels said.
In other words, police may be using a delay tactic that gets musicians off the streets for weeks.
Kevin Carroll of the Hotel Council of San Francisco told the Examiner:
“The Hotel Council of San Francisco believes that unpermitted use of amplified and consistently loud sound on city sidewalks should be addressed by law enforcement to ensure our guests, our employees and our city’s businesses can operate without disturbances that are violating city laws.”
Many musicians who perform in the Union Square area have reported having their instruments seized over the last few months, so it might seem a bit quieter during than usual in downtown SF.