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Jimmy and the Jaywalkers

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Jimmy and the Jaywalkers is an American folk-rock band founded in Brooklyn, New York as a musical side project of journalist Gersh Kuntzman. The band has released four LPs[1], but is best known for its single, "Criminal Mischief," which the New Yorker magazine called an "ear worm" [2]

The band was founded in late 2022 after New York City lawyer Adam White, then of the law firm Vaccaro and White, was arrested for repairing a defaced license plate [3]. White was charged with "criminal mischief," inspiring Kuntzman to write a protest song in the style of Bob Dylan and to begin documenting his own crusade to rid the city of covered or defaced license plates. Kuntzman's exploits and song were covered in the media.[4][5][6]

Jimmy and the Jaywalkers followed up the success of "Criminal Mischief" with another single linked to car culture: "Where Do My Neighbors Live," which examined insurance fraud. The song was part of a multi-episode YouTube series of the same name.

Kuntzman is the editor in chief of Streetsblog NYC and Streetsblog USA, which are media outlets whose mission is to "reduce dependence on private automobiles and improve conditions for walking, biking, and transit — one of the great equity issues of our era."

'Criminal Mischief'[edit]

The band's sole song to break into the public consciousness was the 2022 single, "Criminal Mischief."[7] The song was inspired by the arrest of lawyer Adam White[8] for clearing away a piece of plastic that was blocking several numerals on a driver's license plate. The driver called police, who arrested White and charged him with "criminal mischief."

In an interview with Errol Louis on NY1 News, Kuntzman described the single as "a stupid little folk song ... like Dylan would do about, you know, Hattie Carroll or whatever."

He continued, "But then I got so excited about the song, I thought, wait a minute, maybe I could get arrested for criminal mischief. And then that would be its own story that the rest of the media would have to do and then pay attention to this issue. So like, like everything else, it started as a, as a cry in the wilderness, if you will, you know? And it worked. It took off."[9]



  1. "Jimmy and the Jaywalkers". Spotify.
  2. Greene, Dan (16 January 2023). "At Large with New York's One-Man Crime Spree". New Yorker. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  3. "Cops Arrest Famed Bike Lawyer For Fixing a Driver's Obscured License Plate", StreetsblogNYC, November 14, 2022, retrieved November 14, 2022
  4. "Guerilla activists fight NYC drivers who hide license plates to evade tolls and tickets", Gothamist, December 14, 2022, retrieved December 14, 2022
  5. "They Dispense Street Justice, One Defaced License Plate at a Time", Gothamist, December 17, 2022, retrieved December 17, 2022
  6. "Meet the Veteran New York Journalist on a Mission to Make Obscured License Plates Visible for Traffic Cameras", Gothamist, February 9, 2023, retrieved February 9, 2023
  7. "The 'Criminal' Mind of Gersh Kuntzman". Brooklyn Magazine. March 27, 2023. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  8. "Lawyer arrested for fixing a defaced license plate charged with criminal mischief". WNYC. Nov 16, 2022. Retrieved Nov 16, 2022.
  9. "The story of a license plate vigilante". NY1 News. March 16, 2023. Retrieved March 16, 2023.

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