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Jazz man arrested - for playing his clarinet outside M&S for too long

PUBLISHED: 11:48 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:19 13 July 2018

The respected clarinetist is dragged towards a police van by officers

The respected clarinetist is dragged towards a police van by officers

Archant

A respected jazz musician was arrested and thrown into the back of a police van in front of a high street of shocked shoppers on Saturday afternoon – for playing his clarinet too long outside Marks and Spencer’s.

Luka Eira plays his clarinet outside M&S on Muswell Hill BroadwayLuka Eira plays his clarinet outside M&S on Muswell Hill Broadway

Luke Eira, a regular clarinetist in Muswell Hill, had his busking session rudely interrupted by cops when he was arrested for playing his instrument, which had no amplification.

But when he appeared before Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on Monday morning for breaching a Community Protection Order (CPO), the case was chucked out.

In front of district judge Rimmer, the decision was taken to take no further action.

As shoppers milled around Muswell Hill Broadway in the baking July sun at 2.45pm on Saturday, the 24-year-old musician was approached by police.

Mr Eira is put into the back of a police van by two copsMr Eira is put into the back of a police van by two cops

He was asked to stop playing and leave, but is understood to have refused. Officers then handcuffed him, and put him in the back of a police van.

According to the Met, the CPO was made after he was busking for too long in the area.

Muswell Hill has long been a popular destination for buskers, particularly on the Broadway.

Mr Eira, of no fixed address, is a regular performer at the Bhudda Bar and Crouch End’s Crossover Jazz Room.

An eyewitness said the arrest was “wrong on so many levels, and an insane waste of overstretched resources”.

As well as performing to shoppers in Muswell Hill, he’s busked across London, and in cities across the country.

He has also played with Bristol-based jazz and hip-hop artist ThisisDA on his song Control Shift.

The song, which was performed alongside artists Fenne Lily, Jakuta and Gaidaa, speaks of police brutality and the human existence.

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