Law Professors

Teens Make Off with Elephant Cash After Holding Up Recently Imprisoned Law Prof

The bad luck continued for William Mitchell College of Law professor Peter Erlinder when he returned to Minnesota after spending three weeks in a Rwandan jail.

Erlinder was mugged at gunpoint outside his home in St. Paul, Minn., last Thursday evening, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Erlinder told the Pioneer Press that he had gone for a walk when he approached by a group of youths, and one drew a gun and demanded money. Erlinder tossed his cash on the ground, but it was Tanzanian notes rather than U.S. bills, the newspaper says.

“What they got was bills with pictures of animals on them,” including elephants and water buffaloes, Erlinder told the Pioneer Press.

Erlinder was imprisoned in Rwanda under a law that prohibits anyone from denying or minimizing the genocide that took place in the country in 1994 when hundreds of thousands of people were killed, mostly ethnic Tutsis. He was representing an opposition political candidate accused of promoting genocidal ideology under the same law.

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