One of two Dakota Access pipeline protesters who unfurled a banner from the rafters at U.S. Bank Stadium in January 2017 has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was put on probation.
Karl S. Zimmerman, 34, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty Monday in Hennepin County District Court to creating a public nuisance with the protest on Jan. 1 during the Vikings game vs. the Chicago Bears.
As part of the plea deal, misdemeanor counts of trespassing and burglary were dismissed. He will serve a year’s supervised probation and perform 30 hours of community service. The count he admitted to could be reduced to a petty misdemeanor if he abides by the terms of his probation.
The other climber, 28-year-old Sen Holiday, pleaded not guilty and enters the second day of his trial Tuesday.
The high-wire protest began early in the second quarter of the last game of the season in the new stadium, when the two protesters clambered over a guardrail from a public concourse, then climbed up a built-in ladder to a catwalk high above the seats.
From there, the men appeared to attach their banner to the ridge truss, then dropped down themselves using ropes and harnesses around their waists and legs.
The rectangular white banner bore the U.S. Bank logo and the words, “Divest #NoDAPL,” a reference to the controversial Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. Protest organizers contended that U.S. Bank had tens of millions of dollars in credit lines active with the pipeline’s parent company.
While the men dangled on high, security guards cleared fans from eight rows of seats just below. The truss the men climbed is just to the north of the giant video screen in the stadium’s east end zone.
Zimmerman, a son of former Green Party Minneapolis City Council Member Dean Zimmerman, wore a purple Vikings jersey and occasionally waved at the fans below.