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Chalk Art Is Illegal

Images + Post By: | December 2, 201021 Comments

Apparently tracing shadows in chalk on the sidewalk is an illegal act. Chalk artist Ellis Gallagher is suing the NYPD (again) and we stand behind him 100%. Not to mention that they are annoying and harassing but he is our friend! The Gothamist reports : Not to point fingers, but after six-year-old Natalie Shea was busted for chalking up a sidewalk back in 2007, it’s been rough going for the rest of the city’s chalk artists. The (adult) chalk artist Ellis Gallagher has been arrested three times since then, and now he’s fighting back by bringing the NYPD to court. All summonses have been dismissed, but he’s now suing the city for $1 million as a punishment to the force that forced him behind bars for a legal art form, according to the Brooklyn Paper.
Gallagher has recently moved to Williamsburg from Cobble Hill “because of so much harassment from the 84th and 76th precincts.” But is the chalk art legal? City law doesn’t give a definitive answer—it states that sidewalk chalk can be deemed “graffiti” if it’s not consented to by the property owner. However, Gallagher’s attorney says there must be an “intent to damage”—and, well, what damage can chalk really do? (Ellis’s fire tagging, on the other hand, wouldn’t fare so well in the courtroom.)

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