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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Thomas RiordanNo, certainly not. Anything to prevent that kinda crap.09/01/2014 - 8:18am
SleakerAlthough.. I don't think it hurts anyone if kids think the report is true :P09/01/2014 - 3:26am
Sleakerand just for future reference. National Reports is a fake news site, they decided to remove their disclaimers a while back apparently...09/01/2014 - 3:25am
Thomas RiordanDon't feel bad. I posted the same thing last night and deleted it once I realized it wasn't real.08/31/2014 - 11:13pm
E. Zachary KnightAh. The report actually read serious to me. Oh well. At least it didn't happen.08/31/2014 - 7:46pm
ConsterAlthough apparently someone who was in a swatting ring in Texas took a plea for up to 5 years in July.08/31/2014 - 7:14pm
ConsterProbably because it's a satire site.08/31/2014 - 7:13pm
E. Zachary KnightI agree that the kid should be punished, but the charge and sentence seem a bit overboard to me. http://nationalreport.net/15-year-old-swatted-domestic-terrorism/08/31/2014 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenI get a "page doesn't exist."08/31/2014 - 11:50am
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/Nevelets/status/506076879309508608 What we're currently supposed to be offended by, or whatever.08/31/2014 - 10:10am
MechaTama31AE: Probably snarky commentary on this: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/08/29/principle-player-leland-yee-arms-trading-case-dies08/30/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenConster - Don't know. Got a link to whatever you're referring to?08/30/2014 - 7:04pm
ConsterWait, what's this about Leland Yee eliminating witnesses?08/30/2014 - 5:50pm
IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
 

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