Police Rescue Minneapolis From Dead Cannibals

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Dance with the undead, spend a weekend behind bars:

In the middle of downtown Minneapolis Saturday night, police found seven people clustered on a street corner, some pale-faced and covered in fake blood and wearing tattered clothes. A few carried backpacks with protruding wires.

It was, participants said later, a "zombie dance party," in which a group of young friends dress in sometimes outlandish attire and congregate in public places to dance to music from portable stereos carried on their backs.

But when the dancers wouldn't tell police concerned about the mysterious wires, give their names or provide identification, they ended up arrested, held in jail until Monday afternoon on suspicion of having "simulated weapons of mass destruction."

Clearly, when the zombie terrorists finally strike, downtown Minneapolis will be the first target. And as the police helpfully explain, the living really can't expect to wear excessive mascara without disturbing the peace:

Police say the group was uncooperative and intimidated passersby with their "ghoulish" makeup at a time when officers were on high alert in reaction to a bulletin about men in other states who wear clown makeup while attacking and robbing people.

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  1. Y’know, I was recently in downtown Minneapolis, late at night, and I just want to know how in the hell the police picked this group out?

    Speaking of cities ruined by feel-good statist command-economy planners…

  2. Someone should open a consulting business explaining what goths are to police departments.

    Fifteen year old backup junior varisty placekickers give them wedgies, but a pair armed, veteran policemen crap their pants at the sight of them.

    It doesn’t pay to be clueless when you’re the police.

  3. “Someone should open a consulting business explaining what goths are to police departments.

    Fifteen year old backup junior varisty placekickers give them wedgies, but a pair armed, veteran policemen crap their pants at the sight of them.

    It doesn’t pay to be clueless when you’re the police.”

    Bwhaha! Just awesome.

  4. Police say the group was uncooperative and intimidated passersby with their “ghoulish” makeup at a time when officers were on high alert in reaction to a bulletin about men in other states who wear clown makeup while attacking and robbing people.

    Have you ever noticed that no matter how absurd the situation, police always claim to be responding to a bulletin where sort of similarly dressed people are committing crimes?

  5. I live and work in downtown Minneapolis. And while folks should be free to Zombie-dance, the simple fact is that in any big city in America (Minneapolis nearly qualifies) if the cops ask for ID and and clarity on the contents of your wire-protuding backpack and you say “NO”, then they’re taking you in, like it or not.

    Executive summary: They wanted attention; they got it.

  6. Arresting people is the police equivalent of giving a wedgie.

  7. Executive summary: They wanted attention; they got it.

    So just keep your eyes in front of you and keep marching forward steady, comrades. We will tolerate no stepping out of line.

  8. I suppose that we have actually become a nation where we must produce our papers upon demand by the authorities, or else face incarceration.

    It’s early in the week for the urge to go home and drink heavily to set in, isn’t it?

  9. I live and work in downtown Minneapolis. And while folks should be free to Zombie-dance, the simple fact is that in any big city in America (Minneapolis nearly qualifies) if the cops ask for ID and and clarity on the contents of your wire-protuding backpack and you say “NO”, then they’re taking you in, like it or not.

    Executive summary: They wanted attention; they got it.

    Comment by: Minneapolitan at July 25, 2006 05:38 PM

    Yeah, anybody who doesn’t plan for the fact that police are paranoid control freaks gets what they deserve.

  10. I miss being a schoolkid and learning in Civics class that the main reason America was better than other countries was that in America, if you weren’t actually hurting anybody the cops have to leave you alone.

  11. I miss being a schoolkid and learning in Civics class that the main reason America was better than other countries was that in America, if you weren’t actually hurting anybody the cops have to leave you alone.

    Sounds like you had a real subversive as a civics teacher, Jennifer. If you rat her out, I’ll ask the federal prosecutor to go easy on you.

  12. It has been my experience that some cops take it personally if you challenge their legal authority.

  13. “You will respect mah authoritay!”

  14. It has been my experience that some cops take it personally if you challenge their legal authority.

    I just wish they’d come up with a better outlet to express their feelings than creative writing on arrest reports.

  15. This is ridiculous, unless they were Juggalos, in which case I wouldn’t be as upset (as I probably should be).

  16. I suppose that we have actually become a nation where we must produce our papers upon demand by the authorities, or else face incarceration.

    Where have you been Clean Hands ??

    This happened on June 21, 2004 when the Hibel case was decided.

  17. It is really sad that we have reached the point where doing nothing more than exercising your rights to free assembly and to refuse to speak to a police officer is grounds for arrest. It is the police officers that should be sitting in jail for harassing people that were not breaking any laws. I am sure that the cops will try to make some type of trumped up charge stick to justify their own jack booted thug tactics. The average police officer now acts like a full fledged member of the Gestapo, requesting your papers and locking you up anytime they don’t like the way that you respond.

  18. And while folks should be free to Zombie-dance, the simple fact is that in any big city in America (Minneapolis nearly qualifies) if the cops ask for ID and and clarity on the contents of your wire-protuding backpack and you say “NO”, then they’re taking you in, like it or not.

    Because refusal to provide ID and answer cops’ questions is ipso facto probable cause to believe the person has committed a crime?

  19. “Police say the group was uncooperative and intimidated passersby with their “ghoulish” makeup at a time when officers were on high alert in reaction to a bulletin about men in other states who wear clown makeup while attacking and robbing people.”

    They aren’t making this up.
    Seattle police are actually afraid of ICP fans.

    WAAAAARRRRIOOORRRSSSS! COME OUT AND PLAAAAA-AAAAYYY!

  20. Yeah Rich, it was probably about the Juggalos and Juggalettes. We’ve had a couple of beating incidents in parks here in Washington involving ICP folks, so no doubt that’s what the police alerts are supposed to be about.

    And of course, it’s nitpicky, but the zombie walkers would probably be somewhat ticked off to be confused with goths, and vice versa. But all of these involve face painting, so the cops can’t be expected to know any different, right?

    Come to think of it, maybe they’ll start busting some of those little kids at the hippie fests. The ones with the flowers and butterflies painted on their faces. I mean, why are they trying to conceal their identities? What have THEY got to hide?

  21. Yeah, i think I missed that one, ChicagoTom…

    Reading through the decision you linked, though, it looks to me as though the SCOTUS held there that simply stating your name was sufficient, and there is no Constitutional need to further authenticate your identity in order to satisfy a police officer’s request.

    There, I feel better.

  22. Sorry, but if a gaggle of goth kids show up on my street corner after dark and start shuffle-dancing with backpacks on, the cops are getting a call. You wanna rave? Find an abandoned warehouse. Minneapolis is full of them.

    Same goes for impromptu hip hop dance-offs, klingons practicing ritual contact, etc.

  23. You can always hide from the cops in the Winchester.

  24. Come to think of it, maybe they’ll start busting some of those little kids at the hippie fests…I mean, why are they trying to conceal their identities? What have THEY got to hide?

    Probably about two pounds of ‘shrooms and a vial or two of LSD.

  25. I regularly wear a t-shirt with a big, pretty mushroom cloud on it. Where’s my three-hots-and-a-cot?

    Sheesh — how “mainstream” do you have to be that you can’t tell the difference between Juggalos and zombies?

  26. Of course Libertarians helped make stories like this happen…that is of course if you believe who sits on SCOTUS matters. Kelo vs Civil rights. A libertarian will take a longshot bet (say 100 to 1) on Kelo even if they know the Bill of rights will be shot to sh*t.

    Way to go supporters of conservative SCOTUS nominees.

  27. Johnny, would you care to put down the doobie and explain what in Sam Hell you are talking about? Preferably with a beginning and an ending and some logic in the middle?

  28. I actually know one of the people who got arrested.

    He’s way out in way-left world, but still a nice guy.

    Johnny strikes me as a more legible version of amazingdrx; arguing with the libertarian in his head.

    However, he’s totally invited to stick around and see what people are actually saying.

  29. The parties have occurred without arrest at the Mall of America.. – Mpls Star-Tribune

    Obviously, they are George Romero fans. Dawn Of The Dead, specifically.

    The kids may have gotten off easy. Does MN have a law against going abroad masked? Many states do, and challenges to such laws have failed in the courts. As a resident of the upper Midwest, I’d be very peeved if I was nicked for covering my face when it was well below freezing out, I tell you what.

    I wonder what their DJ would be spinning, besides The Zombies. Oingo Boingo’s Dead Man’s Party, or a little Dead Can Dance, maybe?

    Kevin

  30. When I was a kid and wouldn’t identify myself to the Garden Grove cops they just took me around the corner and showed me the piece. Not that piece, the service revolver. It worked pretty good. I about shit a driver’s license.

  31. ICP and Juggalos are actually a quite peaceful cult/religion.

  32. “The Nail that Sticks Up Will Be Pounded Down.” I think that’s actually written in Latin on the state flag.

    I liked living in Minneapolis, but it’s not a freedom-loving kind of town. There’s a creepy tribal hive-mind vibe to the place, and I’m guessing that if anyone even noticed that a bunch of kids got arrested over some picayune beef with the cops there was a general sense of satisfaction. If you’re going to be a goth, then you should be doing it in the context of some well-organized group activities! Here, let’s start a newsletter. Who wants to be on the Police Liaison Committee?

  33. “I wonder what their DJ would be spinning, besides The Zombies. ”

    every day is halloween.

    of course!

  34. Johnny, you really do gotta go to bed now.

  35. All you guys must live on the coasts, or hipper regions of the midwest. In sissy Chicago these partiers maight have gotten a “tune up” – with most citizens thinking, “serves e’m right”. Anywhere in the US, they could have freaked out the wrong vigilante wannabe (if he were clueless).

    I think these people weren’t just hangin out. Seven arrests of young rabble rousers out late on a Saturday night and no drugs? No mention of even a joint. Either they planned on the possibility of going to the pokey for their fun, they ditched the weed, or my faith in the young party generation has been completely destroyed.

    Well, not completely, at least they stood their ground on not showing their papers…

  36. “We will tolerate no stepping out of line.”

    I don’t like the cops at all, but the simple fact remains, that’s just how it is.

    As George Shultz stated a few month back on Charlie Rose’s show, “There are realities. And if you choose to ignore them, you won’t get very far.”

  37. Reading through the decision you linked, though, it looks to me as though the SCOTUS held there that simply stating your name was sufficient, and there is no Constitutional need to further authenticate your identity in order to satisfy a police officer’s request.

    An important difference in that Supreme Court case held that the cops could constitutionally arrest a suspect for refusing to identify himself, where the cops had reasonable suspicion cause to believe the suspect had committee a crime.
    The cops were investigating a report of an assault (arising out of the misinterpretation by a passer-by of Hiibel’s argument with his daughter, but the cops didn’t know that), and when they arrived at the scene, Hiibel appeared to be drunk. That amounts to “reasonable suspicion” for purposes of Terry v. Ohio. It doesn’t look like the cops in Minnesota had any grounds for reasonable suspicion (“looking strange” doesn’t count, and simply refusing to identify oneself shouldn’t, either), so Hiibel wouldn’t apply.

  38. They got served.

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