Minneapolis Pays $165,000 to ZOMBIES!


The Minneapolis city attorney’s office has decided to pay seven zombies and their attorney $165,000.

The payout, approved by the City Council on Friday, settles a federal lawsuit the seven filed after they were arrested and jailed for two days for dressing up like zombies in downtown Minneapolis on July 22, 2006, to protest “mindless” consumerism.

When arrested at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and 6th Street N., most of them had thick white powder and fake blood on their faces and dark makeup around their eyes. They were walking in a stiff, lurching fashion and carrying four bags of sound equipment to amplify music from an iPod when they were arrested by police who said they were carrying equipment that simulated “weapons of mass destruction.”

However, they were never charged with any crime.

Although U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen had dismissed the zombies’ lawsuit, it was resurrected in February by a three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which concluded that police lacked probable cause to arrest the seven, a decision setting the stage for a federal trial this fall. The settlement means there will be no trial.


Didn’t the Minneapolis/St. Paul law enforcement also have issues regarding over-reacting and lack of probable cause during the Republican National Convention?

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23 Responses to Minneapolis Pays $165,000 to ZOMBIES!

  1. Profile photo of Charlie Charlie says:

    Completely off the subject here but would any bar patrons be interested in a brand new, still in the box Browning Citori 12 gauge Over/Under? I got it as a 10 year anniversary gift from my employer but I don’t want it. I want money for a new guitar. It retails for $1400, I’m asking $1000.

  2. Vertigo says:

    When Bush initiated his war on drugs program, they hired many more law enforcement officers…. perhaps there are too many in that community and they are bored.

  3. wanderer says:

    Can you ever have enough cops? Sounds like this was a case of being a public nuisance, maybe even disturbing the peace. Guess the court saw it different.

  4. Vertigo says:

    You can, Wanderer, if there is no crime and you are paying them $50 grand a year… and they find themselves doing anything to find anything possible to justify their wages. Obviously they were not disturbing the peace because those were not the charges filed… according to the article. As a matter of fact, the article said there were NO charges filed but they were kept incarcerated for 2 days.

    This begs the question… do Zombies have constitutional rights?

  5. Profile photo of billybones billybones says:

    Charlie…does it work against Zombies?
    dude…if I had $1000 to spend i’d be in heaven!!!

  6. wanderer says:

    Well vert, if there’s so many cops, how come we’re always sayin’ there’s never one around when you need one.
    I know there weren’t any charges, but sounds like at least a public nuisance charge could have been doled out.

    • Profile photo of Charlie Charlie says:

      Unless Minneapolis has an ordinance against street performance then I don’t think a public nuisance charged would have been warranted based on the story I read. There was no mention that they refused to turn down the music and no mention that they were impeding any traffic, either vehicular or pedestrian. The only “negative” effect written about was a little girl got scared, oh boo hoo. What it really sounds like to me is that some over-zealous, borderline power abusing police officers trampled on these peoples’ 1st amendment right to peaceably assemble.

    • Vertigo says:

      Coulda.. shoulda… woulda… Wanderer… IT WASN’T. In fact, if you scan back up and read the topic again, they won $165 grand because they didn’t even BOTHER to try to make a charge stick. If the judge thought they were a public nuisance, he would have given them $1.

      Why are you defending something that OBVIOUSLY was a case of police abuse of power in denying people their constitutional rights? Even the judge thought this or he wouldn’t have given them so much money.

  7. Vertigo` says:

    Possibly, but I doubt it. “Public Nuisance” is a rather ambiguous concept, kinda like what tastes “Good”. Apparently someone didn’t like the look of a ghoul on their sidewalk; there was no indication they were harrassing anyone or even making undue noise. They were practicing their first ammendment rights, having a public demonstration in a public spot.

    We, here in Fargo have just recently come up with something similar, and in my opinion so wrong I am seriously considering breaking it just to get the ticket and make a stink. Street performers have to have a permit in the DownTown to perform. Its sad, because its the street performers that add the unique color to a downtown and they should be encouraging it… not discouraging it.

    What these people did was no different, nor any more wrong than someone setting up a saxophone on a corner and collecting quarters. Call that a disturbance, but its only an opinion.

    On an aside, another local movement here in fargo is to have a Zombie Crawl. Happens downtown every summer. Perhaps they should round up everybody who attends that and force them to sit behind bars for 2 days without charges.

  8. wanderer says:

    Yeah ok charlie…………….a street performance. I like loud pipes on bikes. Fact is, that is a kind of music to me. How ’bout you leave your windows open, and one night I’ll drive up and down your block, and have my own version of a street performance.
    Should be fine with you, and the cops.

  9. wanderer says:

    Double standard, pick and choose, tomato, tomahto. All B.S.
    So I’ll blast my loud pipes, er, I’ll express my freedom of speech in your commercial area, in the day time. Maybe more than just me. Maybe alot of us. And maybe it will all be ok. Ahh, the train whistles in downtown fargo………..who doesn’t like that ol’ nostalgic sound, the sound of a booming, growing nation, in the daytime, in a commercial setting. *sniff*…………..brings back memories of me childhood. *sniff* *sniff* Sorry, just brings a tear to me eyes.

  10. Profile photo of Scotti says:

    Ok so they sat in jail for a day or two…kick em out and give em a slap on the wrist for disturbing the peace. Why did they need to be paid for anything? Did they lose $165,000 in pay for two days? Stupid courts wasting tax payer dollars. No wonder Mpls is broke! Idiots!

    • Profile photo of billybones billybones says:

      Clearly, if they had grounds to charge them with disorderly conduct they would have. They are entitled to remuneration because they were illegally arrested and held…”a three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which concluded that police lacked probable cause to arrest the seven” That is the point….the police need to demonstrate that there was a crime…they didn’t. the constitution is there to protect the rights of individuals even if their actions are not popular. Scotti, if you want a police state, go live somewhere else.

  11. Vertigo says:

    Thats unbelievable. Scotti, they did more than just slap them on the wrists… they put on handcuffs and took away their freedom for exercising their constitutional right of free speech. This is probably the worst thing the government of our country can do to its citizen. I cannot think of anything worse.

    If we harrass our citizens for exercising free speech we won’t be any better than China… can you say Tianamen Square? If we imprison our own people for demonstrating in the street, we might as well rent Siberia from Russia!

    This is far more than simply slapping someone on the wrist for creating a disturbance. We need to protect this freedom with all the vigor we have because if we don’t, we won’t have the high ground to expect the same from any other government.

  12. Anonymous says:

    only in the Peoples Republic of Minnesota and its capital Piygsie.

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