The two pipeline protesters who climbed to the rafters of U.S. Bank Stadium then unfurled a banner from the catwalk during a Vikings game on New Year’s Day were charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court.
Karl S. Zimmerman, 32, son of former Green Party Minneapolis City Council Member Dean Zimmerman, and Sen Holiday, 26, were each charged with burglary, disorderly conduct and trespassing for the high-flying stunt they carried out during the Vikings regular season finale against the Chicago Bears.
According to the charges, Zimmerman and Holiday scrambled over a wall on a public concourse to reach a ladder on one of the two main steel trusses supporting the stadium roof. From there they climbed the ladder to the catwalk and used climbing equipment to rappel as they dropped a giant banner protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline and U.S. Bank’s financial involvement.
Holiday and Zimmerman somehow gained access to a secured area featuring a 50- to 75-foot ladder leading to the catwalk. The ladder was surrounded by a 4-foot panel secured with a padlock.
The ladder also is separated from the pedestrian concourse by a 3-foot-high glass wall. The wall has an access door on the north side and is secured with a combination lock. Neither of the locks appeared to have been tampered with, the charges said.
A witness told police that she saw Holiday and Zimmerman jump the railing and start climbing the ladder toward the roof.
They hung from the ceiling until the game was over. Fans in section 325 had to be moved for safety reasons.
Holiday and Zimmerman were charged with burglary for knowingly entering a building with the intent of committing a misdemeanor, disturbing an assembly and entering a locked space without consent.
A third person suspected of aiding in the protest will not be charged, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office said.