Mayor Adams defends arrest of beloved NYC subway saxophonist amid violent crimewave: ‘I’m proud’

As New Yorkers continue to battle a surge in violent crimes coupled with a shortage of NYPD officers to protect them, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is “proud” of the law enforcement officers he still employs for their take-down of a beloved subway saxophonist and his animatronic cats.

Known online as the “dancing is happiness” man, Jazz Ajilo for five years brightened the days of Big Apple commuters with music at the 34th Street Herald Square Station. Backed up by a band of boogying furry animals, he brought smiles to those bustling in and out of the crowded station.

According to an NYPD spokesperson, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) complained multiple times that Ajilo was “impeding pedestrian flow and utilizing a sound reproduction device” — allegedly violating buskers’ “code-of-conduct” rules, the New York Post reported Monday, following his arrest.

“Officers … observed an individual with a large display of crates, robotic animals and a sound system obstructing the flow of pedestrian traffic through the subway facilities,” the spokesperson said. “The individual was given multiple warnings to leave the location in which no enforcement action would be taken.”

After staying put and failing to show ID, Alijo was arrested.

“An NYPD sergeant responded and reiterated the same directives to the individual,” the spokesperson continued. “After exhausting all options with the individual he was placed into custody and removed to a police facility.”

Naturally, the entire arrest was recorded. Ajilo later uploaded the video to his YouTube channel.

On it, an officer can be seen grabbing Ajilo to hook him up while the busker yells, “Help me! Help me!”

“Officer, why are you arresting me?” he shouted. “What did I do wrong? I’m a musician… I’ve got four autistic children.”


(Video: Jazz Ajilo/YouTube)

Ajilo, who was released shortly after his arrest, wrote that he received four tickets for “performing in the same spot” he’s frequently entertained at for five years.

“The police always see me there everytime and they also cheers [sic] me on,” he said, adding, “My wrist is injured from the tight handcuffs, Am emotionally depressed, and my body hurts.”

What’s worse, he says, when returned to him, his saxophone was damaged and many of his dancing cats and bunnies were broken and “incomplete.”

Now, as hundreds of NYC prosecutors are fleeing the city’s “woke” criminal justice reforms, and as violent crime continues to plague residents, Mayor Eric Adams is defending the NYPD’s arrest of the musician.

At an unrelated news conference, Adams stated that the subway system is out of control and the officers had “to take action,” reported local ABC 7 News.

“That is not the place for disorder,” Adams said of the subway stations. “That is not the place to do whatever you want to do as a passenger. Transit has rules and my officers and your officers are going to do it in a professional and courteous manner.”

“So, I’m proud of those officers,” he continued. “They weren’t abusive, they didn’t yell at the person. They took a long time to get to the point that now we have to take action.”

“That is how you do proper policing,” Adams stated.

Online, people would beg to differ.

“Misguided @ericadamsfornyc,” wrote one Twitter user. “Proud of NYC cops manhandling this guy… while actual criminals are running rampant in your city.”

“You’re a joke sir,” the user continued. “Weak on crime, defend your city.”

“Subways are safe now since they removed it’s biggest menace,” snarked another. “Great job @NYCMayor.”

“They arrested a man that committed no crime nor preventing one from happening,” wrote a third. “Proud of them!? OK I heard enough. #Vote him out. Who’s next in line?”

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account was set up to help Ajilo with the costs of repairing his sax and getting his little animatronic pals back on the dancefloor.

“It genuinely breaks my heart to see this man be arrested for simply putting smiles on people’s faces,” wrote one Twitter user who shared the GoFundMe link.

As of this writing, donors have contributed more than $114,000 to the much-loved musician.

“Your support has been overwhelming!” Ajilo wrote. “Thank you so much for you love and words of encouragement.”

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