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Street musician says new panhandling ordinance is hurting Chattanooga music scene

Joel Clyde playing on the Walnut Street Bridge. (Courtesy: WTVC)

A Chattanooga Busker, or street performer, says the city's new panhandling ordinance needs to be clarified to protect the city's booming music scene.

Last week, the city council voted to ban panhandling in many parts of the city.

Days later, Joel Clyde was singing and playing guitar beneath the Walnut Street Bridge when he says four officers approached him and said he was violating the new ordinance.

Joel says he and other musicians petitioned the city to leave a clause in the new ordinance that would protect busking but they did not.

Chattanooga Police says in a situation like what occurred between Joel and the four officers, "hopefully officers and the musician/busker can have a mutually agreeable conversation and avoid citations."

Clyde says the officers let him finish playing.

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