Urban Dread

« July 2006 »

Memo to Minneapolis police: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME.

Since you're not allowed to talk about police work these days without the Official Caveat, here we go. Yada yada thin blue line yada tough job yada brave men and women protect yada serve yada.

Now that that's out of the way, STOP ARRESTING FAKE ZOMBIES, for fuck's sake.

Here's the deal. On Saturday, in Minneapolis, six individuals were taken into custody by the Minneapolis police department. What they were doing was having a "zombie dance party". This is where bored people without cable go out into public dressed like zombies and dance around, amusing or irritating the public.

What they were arrested for was "suspicion of having simulated weapons of mass destruction".

This was, allegedly, because they had wires sticking out of their backpacks. They had wires sticking out of their backpacks because that's where they kept the audio equipment that provided the music they were dancing to. You can see where I may be taking issue with the boys in blue here.

Because first of all, what kind of meager-ass, post-9/11, Patriot Act crime is "suspicion of having simulated weapons of mass destruction"? The police think you might have something pretending to be one of the most semantically devalued nouns of the modern era. And that's enough to land your pallid ass in jail for the weekend?

Don't get me wrong. If I saw six people having a fucking zombie dance party on a fucking downtown streetcorner, I'd think it was pretty fucking stupid. But harmlessly stupid. Not threatening. Not dangerous. Not harassing. It's a city, goddammit. Crazy people doing annoying shit on street corners comes with the package. It's how you know you're not in a suburb.

And what's with the obsession with loose wires? Am I going to have to go entirely Bluetooth to walk around downtown, for fear of simulating a WMD? "Your honor, his messenger bag had a wire extending from the interior of the bag to his ears. We thought it might have been some kind of signaling device."

And third, while I in no means support racial profiling, a certain amount of common sense based on visual input isn't that difficult. If you look at these six people and see a threat, there is something wrong with you: ACTUAL MUG SHOT TIME!

That is not a terrorist sleeper cell you see cavorting on the street corner, Officer. That is Zombie Amy Sedaris, Zombie Robert Smith, Zombie Tammy Faye, Zombie Prince, Zombie Nicholas Cage, and Zombie Moose From You Can't Do That On Television. Even if these were the actual zombified corpses of those six people, the only one you'd have to worry about was Tammy Faye.

This seems to have taken police two days to figure out, as the six were released yesterday without being charged. News reports say the six could still face lesser charges of "disorderly conduct". Of course.

Disorderly conduct is the Marvin Gardens in the giant Monopoly board that is our legal system. You don't pick it if you can get anything else. It's the face-saver. It's what you charge people with when you hauled them off to jail for two days because you could, and it looks bad if the "perpetrators" don't even end up with a court date and a no contest plea.

But at the end of the day, you've still jailed six wankers for gamboling in bad zombie makeup. I think we know who desperately needs braaaaaaaains here.