August 27, 2010 – Making its way into the bizarre headlines of the daily news is a story about a group of Minneapolis zombies looking for a little support from the appeals court.
Are we mindless slaves to consumerism? The Minneapolis zombies thought so.
StarTribune.com reports on a group of 7 zombies who were arrested in downtown Minneapolis on July 22, 2006 and accused of carrying equipment that simulated weapons of mass destruction. Ultimately, the zombies were never charged with any crime.
This bizarre arrest was the result of a group of friends performing street theater in what 27-year-old sociology Ph.D. candidate Raphi Rechitsky called a protest against mindless consumerism. The group of 7 were dressed in zombie makeup, stained with fake blood and walking in a stiff, lurching manner. Their equipment deemed “simulating weapons of mass destruction” was 4 bags of sound equipment that was used to amplify music from an iPod.
The 7 had been arrested and jailed for 2 days and filed a federal lawsuit soon thereafter. The original lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen, but it was resurrected (pardon the pun) by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in February of this year.
The appeal concluded that police lacked probable cause to arrest the zombie crew and the stage was set for a trial this fall to finalize the case. However, the City Council of Minneapolis decided on a $165,000 payout to the zombies and their attorney rather than take the case to trial, which could have resulted in $50,000 per zombie, plus defense attorney’s fees.
While not every lawyer can add bizarre lawsuits involving zombies and protests against consumerism to their legal triumphs, any law firm can make the most of their case results when they’re well written and publicized with press releases.
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