NEW YORK: An Indian-origin teen, arrested for playing music from his phone on a subway platform in New York, plans to sue the NYPD after a judge quashed the criminal case, a media report said today.
18-year-old Yadram Singh was arrested for playing music from his phone on a subway platform on June 13 plans to sue the NewYork Police Department (NYPD) after a judge tossed the criminal case days later, the New York Daily News reported.
Mr Singh, who lives in Queens, was going to Rockaway Beach with his friends and family when he was approached by a police officer.
The officer asked him to turn off the small speaker attached to his phone playing music at the Broad Channel train station, according to Mr Singh.
The officer then brought him to a police station nearby and put him inside a holding pen.
“I asked him why I was being arrested,” Mr Singh recalled, noting the policeman never asked him to turn down the music.
He spent the night in a central booking cell before he was released without bail.
“It was literally one of the worst days of my life,” he told the paper.
A judge later tossed the disorderly conduct case, ruling the New York Police Department had no reason for the arrest.
“While the complaint states that people were leaving the area to avoid defendant, there is no allegation they were inconvenienced, annoyed or alarmed, or at risk,” Judge David Hawkins ruled, noting the officer never warned Mr Singh to turn down the music.
Mr Singh’s lawyer hailed the judge’s decision.
“An experience like this can scar a young man for life,” said Legal Aid attorney Joel Schmidt. “This is not broken windows, it is broken lives.”
An NYPD spokesman said Mr Singh was charged with disorderly conduct “based on the observation of the arresting officer.”
“The judge has the authority to review the charges and decide on the disposition of the court in any particular case,” the spokesman added.
A department source said that Singh wasn’t given a summons or desk appearance ticket because he’s a “transit recidivist.”
Singh’s lawyer called that accusation “ludicrous,” noting his client has no criminal history and once received a bogus summons for using a school Metro Card during Regents week.
“A recidivist is a convicted criminal who repeatedly offends,” Schmidt said. “That’s not Yadram.”