Zombies have First Amendment rights, too, says U.S. court

Who knew that zombies were being persecuted? But thanks to an appeals court in Minneapolis—no more!

A group of zombies (OK, not actual zombies, but rather several costumed protesters) have been given the OK to proceed with their lawsuit against the police who arrested them for disorderly conduct, Yahoo News reported.

At the time of their arrest in 2006, the plaintiffs lurched stiff-legged through a mall urging shoppers to "get your brains here" and "brain cleanup in aisle five" while wearing white face powder, fake blood and black circles around their eyes. They were also carrying audio equipment, including loudspeakers and wireless phone handsets, which police had decided to describe as "simulated weapons of mass destruction."

The three-judge panel, by a two-to-one vote, ruled that Minneapolis police lacked probable cause to arrest the demonstrators for disorderly conduct, and that the group of seven "zombies" had been wrongfully detained during the protest against consumerism. The appeals court ruled that police had no reason to imprison protesters simply for "dressing as zombies, and walking erratically in downtown Minneapolis."

"An objectively reasonable person," the appeals court ruled, "would not think probable cause exists under the Minnesota disorderly conduct statue to arrest a group of peaceful people for engaging in an artistic protest by playing music, broadcasting statements [and] dressing as zombies."

Glad to know that the courts aren't just protecting our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—but also our right to brains as well!

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