Teenage musicians battling Traverse City street performer ordinance
Two teenaged musicians were back in court Monday after the city of Traverse City appealed a judge's decision who said the teens' First Amendment trumps a street performer ordinance.
The brothers say they're fighting for their freedom of speech as Traverse City attorneys look to uphold an 11-year-old ordinance.
19-year-old Kewayden Brauker and 17-year-old Maayingan Brauker enjoy sharing their music with others in downtown Traverse City. The brothersâ?? music has been put on hold for now because they don't have a 40 dollar permit from the city to perform.
â??Since I'm not trying to make money I refuse to buy one,â?? said Maayingen Brauker.
The brothers were performing on June 22nd when a man who sells balloons and holds a permit called the police because the teens were in the 50-foot radius of where he was doing business, something enforced by the ordinance.
Police handed down a $200 citation to the brothers who then decided to play their music on downtown sidewalks the very next day.
â??We went back down there in a sort of a protest manner so we can get our beliefs out.â??
The brothers were given another citation forcing them to pay more than 500 dollars in all for each person.
The brothers took their case to court and thought they were off the hook because the judge ruled in their favor saying their freedom of speech comes before the city ordinance.
The city of Traverse City appealed the judge's decision which brought the brothers back to court Monday.
Kewayden appeared in an orange jump suit because he is in jail on an unrelated charge.
Supporters of the brothers stood outside the courthouse including the so-called â??Two Raging Granniesâ?? who had a movie in this yearâ??s Traverse City Film Festival.
â??For now the city continues to enforce the street performer ordinance and based on what the court decides in terms of the legality of that ordinance then the city will move forward from there,â?? said Traverse City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.
The man who reported the teens said he asked the teens to move to another area to perform, but when they didn't move that's when he called police.
No final decision was made in court Monday. The judge gave both sides 14 days to look over the ordinance and come back to court.