Graffiti Artists Next On NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s List

Earlier this week, we discovered that arrests of subway breakdancers have skyrocketed 4700 percent in the last four months. The widespread crackdown (which has also affected peddlers and panhandlers) is part of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s so-called mission to improve quality of life in the city.

And it appears he’s not just stopping at the subways. In an interview with NPR‘s Leonard Lopate, the newly-minted commissioner stated that he and the NYPD will soon turn their Eye of Sauron focus on graffiti artists.

Here’s what Bratton said, word-for-word:

Graffiti is a constant battle…It’s one of the issues I’m going to be focusing on – I’ve already spoken to the mayor about my sense that graffiti is growing in the city now again. And, as a city, we need to basically take it on because that’s the first sign of urban decay.

So, at this point, if you’re doing any kind of artistic expression in public, you better watch out.

Follow Nikita Richardson on Twitter @nikitarbk (via)

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