The 4th of July, the national anthem, and rock & roll. What could be more American than that? To the Neptune Beach, Florida police department, it seems just about anything.
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22-year-old Lane Pittman was playing his electric guitar in the street as part of a block party when a police sergeant told him to move to the sidewalk. Lane asked if he was allowed to play once he moved and the sergeant said yes.
Lane complied, went to the sidewalk, and ripped out an awesome rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that drew a crowd of several hundred people from the area. And then the cops came for him.
Pittman said: “He goes, ‘Spread your legs. Put your hands behind your back,’ and that was when I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Is he serious? I’m getting arrested for this after I was told I could do it?”
Police threatened to arrest Pittman on charges of inciting a riot.
He said: “That blows my mind, because it was peaceful up until the time they arrested me.
“I don’t think I ever played that song as good in my life as I did on that day. It felt right. It was an emotional roller coaster.”
Surprisingly, the police did not file charges for being a ginger in public.
Attorney Caleb Rowland is representing Pittman and said: “I’ve never seen a law that says you can’t play the national anthem on a sidewalk.
“Disturbing the peace could be used to cover a lot of conducts that may not necessarily be criminal. I guess we’re going to have to wait and see what the state attorney decides to do with it.”
The charges have been turned over to the State Attorney’s office for review.
“I’m hopeful that we can get his resolved without any charges,” Rowland said. “And Mr. Pittman can go on his merry way and play the national anthem as loud as he wants to, pretty much wherever he wants to.”