Seven Zombies Awarded $165,000

August 23, 2010 -

"Brains! Brains!" That is what seven plaintiffs must have screamed as police arrested them for dressing up as zombies in a sassy protest against mindless consumerism in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Star Tribune reports that the Minneapolis city attorney's office has decided to pay seven zombies and their attorney $165,000. The settlement, which was approved by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday, is the end result of a federal lawsuit the seven filed after they were arrested and jailed for two days simply for dressing up like zombies and shambling along the streets of downtown Minneapolis on July 22, 2006, to protest "mindless" consumerism.

The seven - three women and four men (all residents at the time) - were arrested at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and 6th Street N., wearing thick white powder and fake blood on their faces and dark makeup around their eyes to accentuate the fact that they were the living dead. Besides shambling about "in a stiff, lurching fashion," the seven plaintiffs carried four bags of sound equipment to amplify music from an iPod. They were subsequently arrested by police, who claimed that they were carrying equipment that simulated "weapons of mass destruction." When police asked them to turn the music down and for some form of identification (and found that they didn't have any on them) the seven were told they would be detained.

Jake Sternberg, one of the plaintiffs, testified that police Sgt. E.T. Nelson told them at the police station that he didn't "care about their constitutional rights" and used several obscenities. In an interview well after that Sternberg recalled the incident and said that "Those words are seared into my mind; I'll never forget them." He also recalled the experience in jail as "horrible" because he is missing a leg - the result of a 2001 motorcycle accident. He claims that the police confiscated his prosthetic leg during his stay, making it very uncomfortable to get around while in custody. They did give him a wheelchair to use instead.

 

While U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen had dismissed the zombies' lawsuit, the plantiffs shambled on, resurrecting the lawsuit in February this year thanks to an appeal heard by a three-judge panel at the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges hearing the case concluded that "police lacked probable cause" to arrest the seven, which set the stage for a federal trial this fall. The settlement means that there will be no trial later this year and the city of Minneapolis and its police can put the nasty mess behind them.

Minneapolis City Attorney Susan L. Segal said it was in the best interests of the city to settle the matter and move on: "We believe the police acted reasonably, but you never know what a jury is going to do with a case," she told the Star Tribune.

Jordan Kushner, the Minneapolis attorney representing the seven plaintiffs, said that the city offered to pay each of the seven $10,000 apiece, plus whatever the court ordered in attorney's fees.

"Under that scenario, I believe the total payout would have been higher, but a lot more of the money would have gone to me," adding that the $165,000 settlement works out better for his clients.

Source: Star Tribune


Comments

Re: Seven Zombies Awarded $165,000

can you please turn down thoes simulated weapons of mass distruction down.  ??? how does that work.

BCD303 "Speedy thing goes in. Speedy thing comes out."

BCD303 "Speedy thing goes in. Speedy thing comes out."

Re: Seven Zombies Awarded $165,000

"We believe the police acted reasonably,"

Oh shut the hell up. This attitude is unacceptable and ignorant- you might as well call ME a terrorist because my skin tone and facial hair "simulates" the stereotypical image of a terrorist. This is the kind of mentality that turns Lite-Brites into nuclear devices.

Re: Seven Zombies Awarded $165,000

"...who claimed that they were carrying equipment that simulated..."

http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q315/nightwng2000/stickGun.jpg

Yes, "simulated" weapons can be SO devistating.  :/

"...testified that police Sgt. E.T. Nelson told them at the police station that he didn't "care about their constitutional rights" ..."

""We believe the police acted reasonably, but you never know what a jury is going to do with a case,""

What a "jury" is going to say?  More like Nelson should be worried what an investigation into their violations of Human Rights might turn up.  Frankly, I'm looking at someone who needs employment termination, arrest, trial, and conviction for not only Human Rights violations but for openly admitting betrayal of the US Constitution, a document they were SWORN to uphold.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Seven Zombies Awarded $165,000

I thought pretty much the same thing, he seems to be indirectly saying 'They'll have our balls on a platter if we try to prosecute, so we're just going to pretend we are in the right, but have decided to be magnanimous'

Re: Seven Zombies Awarded $165,000

'...claimed that they were carrying equipment that simulated "weapons of mass destruction."'

Sure, when you want to so something you know is wrong, just claim the other people might be terrorists! We need a new name for this new Godwin rule. 

Heaven help them if it has been a lightbrite set, those things shut down Boston. Since when has have we decided that the best way of beating terrorism was to become more and more afraid?

Re: Seven Zombies Awarded $165,000

Heh, glad I'm not the only one worried about that, it's almost back to the days of 'Reds under the Bed', where anything could be justified in the name of 'defeating communism'.

 
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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
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NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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