It’s not just D.C. All over the country, colonizers have been pushing themselves into a neighborhood and then want to police the people who are from the area. Musician Eugene Grant learned this first-hand while playing music on the famed Frenchmen Street in New Orleans on Monday.
According to WWL-TV, Eugene Grant and other musicians were playing their music when the owners of Frenchman Art and Books called police to about the “noise.” That led to a confrontation that was caught on a bystander’s cell phone video and uploaded to social media. Grant was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and arrested. Watch below:
New Orleans Police blamed everything on the trumpet player, saying in a statement, “Grant struck one of the officers in the chest with his instrument, damaging the officer’s body-worn camera. After striking the officer with his instrument, Grant refused repeated requests by both officers and citizens to calm down, forcing the officers to detain Grant until backup arrived.”
The 27-year-old was charged with obstructing the public right-of-way and resisting arrest. NOLA.com reports, “His mother said he has developmental delays and is on the autism spectrum.”
Grant’s attorney Cherrell Simms Taplin said in court yesterday, “Eugene was just a musician from New Orleans, doing what New Orleans musicians do. They play on the street, on Frenchmen Street. That’s a part of that neighborhood.” Thankfully, all charges have been dropped..
Frenchman Art and Books has been slammed with bad reviews on Yelp. One user wrote, “Who opens a bookstore on a street famous for being the epicenter of music in New Orleans? Then calls the cops on the brass bands that have been playing there for YEARS.”
Another user wrote, “Instead of communicating, they have decided to go about their frustrations aggressively. So aggressively in fact that they called the cops and had a disabled musician (well loved in the community) brutally arrested for simply wanting to play his trumpet. They may be angry at us for playing our music too loud, but we are even more angry at them for trying to disrupt our tradition. So next time you’re in New Orleans do yourself a favor and skip this bookstore.”
Grant is back to playing in the same location and it looks like the colonizers are going to have to deal with it.