NEW YORK – Topless women posing for photos in Times Square are causing headaches for politicians and police who wish to regulate their presence but have no clear idea how.
The women often wear body paint and mingle with tourists. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes they are engaging in an illegal activity that harkens back to the "bad old Times Square." And Mayor Bill de Blasio this week formed a task force to look at how to regulate "aggressive solicitation" by the women and the many costumed characters there. He suggested one solution would be to do away with the pedestrian plaza where they gather.
Legal experts say the key is whether the activity constitutes a street performance protected by the First Amendment or a commercial activity that can be regulated.