Why Are Honolulu Police Cracking Down On Waikiki Street Performers?

Courtesy of Carey Johnson

For three years, Carey Johnson made much of his living as “The Telescope Guy.”

He would set up his personal telescope somewhere along Kalakaua Avenue almost every evening, inviting passers-by to have a peek.

Johnson knew he was subject to the city ordinance that restricts peddling on sidewalks. That’s why he was always careful to treat patrons’ payments as donations, which are legal.

Still, on Aug. 22 Waikiki police arrested Johnson for peddling. The arrest, he said, marked his first offense. And although he was released on $200 bail, the Honolulu Police Department took his telescope — along with a collection of photos he shot with it — into evidence.

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