SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — San Francisco police are taking away musical instruments from street performers to reduce the noise near Union Square.
It can get loud in Union Square with traffic, people and street musicians. Some people love it, but the musicians say it’s the people inside the hotels that aren’t their biggest fans.
Street musicians along Market Street have been a staple in the city for decades.
Some would call it free music, others a public nuisance.
“I just come out here and do what I do and just have fun doing it,” Street musician Kahlyn Freeman said.
San Francisco Police Department spokesman Carlos Manfredi said, “A lot of people and tourist that are coming into the city can’t sleep because they are hearing this loud and excessive noise.”
Street musicians say in the past, officers have simply asked them to move along, but now, officers are taking their instruments away.
We asked the SFPD why.
Manfredi said, “The instruments that are being seized are being booked as evidence to be presented in front of the judge and it’s up to the judge to determine who is at fault.”
San Francisco police say there is no crackdown. They are simply enforcing the law.
Manfredi sad, “We can’t cite them and charge them and take their evidence away because we feel that they are disturbing our peace as law enforcement officers.”
Street musicians believe it’s the hotels in the area that are targeting them.
The San Francisco’s Hotel Council says it’s is just following the law and tells us,”…unpermitted use of amplified and consistently loud sound on city sidewalks should be addressed by law enforcement to ensure our guests, our employees and our city’s businesses can operate without disturbances that are violating city laws.”
Freeman said, “If they want to hear cars and trucks going by all day in the city then there has to be something wrong with them.”