Artists and dancers say officers have ramped up fines and ticketing in Manhattan’s celebrated Washington Square Park

On what seemed to be an otherwise unremarkable July day, performer Kanami Kusajima was dancing in New York City’s famed Washington Square Park, just as she had since the city began its long journey into post-Covid lockdown recovery.

Kusajima, who had become the face of the city’s resilience when mayoral officials used her photo in a widespread “NO STOPPING NEW YORK” ad campaign, was shocked when police issued a ticket for her use of a tiny speaker.

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