Those of us at Hyperallergic HQ have been watching the case of Takeshi Miyakawa very closely and scratching our heads as to why any judge would sentence a designer-turned-street-artist to 30 days without bail and a psychiatric evaluation. Aaron Short has followed up with a story at The Brooklyn Paper and he got this choice quote:

A police source said he is baffled by the judge’s decision to keep Miyakawa at Rikers, since other burglary and graffiti suspects have been released from custody in hours.

“He told us his intention was to produce artwork,” said the NYPD source. “He cooperated completely.”

Why is Miyakawa still in prison? This appears to be a great miscarriage of justice and a waste of taxpayers’ money. He should be released now!

Short writes that “The court will hear Blum’s request for a speedy release on Wednesday afternoon. His allies hope the judge will grant bail.” We hope so too.

In the meantime, you can join the Free Miyakawa Facebook group or sign the online petition demanding his release.

Fortunately, Miyakawa appears to be in good spirits and is being treated well. His associate Louis Lim posted the following informal message on the Free Miyakawa Facebook page around midnight yesterday:

i felt so happy to hear takeshi’s voice today. he called me and said, “louis, this is takeshi. how’s it going?” -takeshi! how are YOU?!!!…

i proceeded to apologize for all the press as i know he would normally not be comfortable with the publicity, but i thought awareness was key in this situation. he laughed and said, “i know, i’m famous in here, everyone here says, ‘oh, you’re the guy on tv!’, can i have your autograph?’”.

As always, Takeshi is positive and kind. he loves the people inside. he’s easy going, telling us that “the food is actually quite good”.

Despite his resilience and good spirits, I am devastated that I couldn’t do anything to get him out earlier. It seems that he’s only been able to sleep last night as he was only just assigned a bed cot. Up till now, from holding in Greenpoint, to Central booking in downtown Brooklyn, he’s been on a concrete floor 10 feet away from other people’s urine and vomit.

I want him out now! he may still want to sleep on the floor, but at least it will be on his furniture blankets and a nice dusty wood shop floor.

UPDATE: GREAT NEWS! About an hour ago, the Miyakawa Facebook group reported that the designer has been freed. And group member Yoko Fujita posted the following celebratory photo about 30 minutes ago on the group’s Facebook wall:

(image by Yoko Fujita and posted on Free Takeshi Miyakawa Facebook group wall)

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

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