Minneapolis Zombies Settle for 165 Thousand Dollars

I find it odd that the city that hosted the world’s first zombie pub crawl in 2005 (which has been held annually since) would arrest some college students in 2006 who dressed as zombies and exercised their free speech rights in the city. It was a kind of a prank but they were getting the message out about mass consumerism. The police stumbled across the students, who had an iPod with some wires running to speakers in a backpack, and decided that they were terrorists with a weapon of mass destruction in their possession. They were arrested and spent two days in jail, worrying about being charged as terrorists. As it turned out, the charges against them were dropped, but the damage was done.  They sued the city and lost the case on the grounds that their strange clothing and conduct did not protect them under the first amendment’s free speech rights.  They appealed and won the case, which led to the city settling the case for $165K.  It seems a small settlement because after the lawyer fees and divided by seven, that leaves very little for four years of hassle.  There’s been quite a few mentions in the news, but AOLNews has the best report of the entire debacle.

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