Zombies Wrongfully Detained, Have Free Speech Rights

An appeals court in Minneapolis, Minnesota has overturned a lower court ruling, finding that a group of seven "zombies" had been wrongfully detained during a 2006...protest. The decision allows the zombies to continue with their lawsuit against police who arrested them for disorderly conduct. "An objectively reasonable person 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," the appeals court ruled.

The zombies in question were part of a protest against "mindless" consumerism in Minneapolis's public downtown shopping district. (Consumers don't have braaaaains! Or they are zombies because of TV ads! Or something! Braaaains!)

As is traditional when stories like these make the news, the cops kept it classy. According to the ruling:

"The plaintiffs were met by numerous officers, including the officer in charge, Sergeant Edward Nelson. [one of the plaintiffs] testified that Nelson acted like "a drill sergeant with new recruits," and said that he didn't "give a g**damn about anybody's constitutional f***ing rights." The plaintiffs were patted down and placed in a holding cell."

Anyway, the court is right: the cops shouldn't have arrested the zombies for "disorderly conduct." If there's one lesson Americans should have learned by now, it's that we shouldn't wait for the authorities to save us. Better to get in the habit of grabbing a shovel and doing the zombie beheading yourself, American consumerists. It's only a matter of time.

Via Slashdot.

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  • Fluffy||

    Man, if people had done the zombie walk thing back when I used to drink, somebody probably would have gotten killed.

    This is like dressing in a deer suit and hiding in the woods.

  • Old Mexican||

    The zombies in question were part of a protest against "mindless" consumerism in Minneapolis's public downtown shopping district.

    Well, it's pretty mindless . . . the reason for the protest, I mean. People don't consume "mindlessly."

  • TP||

    Sure they do. Ever been to Happy Hour?

  • Mad Max||

    Then they're not doing it right.

    USA! USA!

  • OMG||

    "Shoot them in the head … just, shoot them in the head."

    I never understood this interpretation of the modern Zombie, i.e. its a critique of consumerism. If it was, wouldn't the Zombies be driving in BMWs and eating McMansions? It seems to me that the more legitimate interpretation of a mindless horde eating a small (sentient) minority is a critique of pure democracy: one in which the 51% who can control the vote choose to "eat" the liberty of the remaining 49%.

  • ||

    "eating McMansions"

    Mixed up your consumer lingo there...

  • anonymous||

    If not pure democracy, at least a critique of the social democratic welfare state.

    You get a group of people who take and another group of people who make, and give all of them a vote, and over time the former group will grow and the latter will shrink. The increasing burden on the remaining makers will convert them to takers at an increasing rate, until eventually society collapses and the few remaining makers have to hide themselves away in a shopping mall or underwater city or something, while they wait for the taker class to die off (or for well-armed right wing authoritarians like the cops or military to charge in and murder the takers en masse, if we're sticking to the zombie theme).

  • majorico ||

    A democracy which makes or even

    effectively prepares for modern,

    scientific war must necessarily

    cease to be democratic. No

    country can be really well

    prepared for modern war unless

    it is governed by a tyrant, at

    the head of a highly trained and

    perfectly obedient bureaucracy.

  • geoff||

    "I never understood this interpretation of the modern Zombie, i.e. its a critique of consumerism."

    The only place it's explicitly a critique of consumerism is in "Dawn of the Dead" ('78 or '04, take your pick) because it's primarily set in a shopping mall. In other words, if a movie was made about zombies taking over an airport, post-9/11, it would be a critique of how we all mindlessly submit to TSA rules and screenings. Or something. Zombies = Stand-in for general mindlessness.

    I like your "critique of pure democracy" theory better.

  • ||

    How long before this country takes the zombie menace seriously. Forget probable cause, what about "two in the head make sure they are dead"?

  • OMG||

    SO says Max Brooks, so say we all.

  • Old Mexican||

    Better to get in the habit of grabbing a shovel and doing the zombie beheading yourself, American consumerists.

    Well, looking at all the great documentaries about zombie fighting, I know it takes a shot in the head to down a zombie.

  • Voton||

    "The plaintiffs were met by numerous officers, including the officer in charge, Sergeant Edward Nelson. [one of the plaintiffs] testified that Nelson acted like "a drill sergeant with new recruits," and said that he didn't "give a g**damn about anybody's constitutional f***ing rights."

    We know that, Sergeant Nelson, but how disarmingly honest of you to say so.

  • Mad Max||

    They printed 'damn' without any asterisks, but used asterisks on the word 'g**.'

  • People Power Hour||

    Thank g**!

  • ||

    WTF is a "simulated weapon of mass destruction?" Can people be arrested for the fevered imaginings of a LEO nowadays? Guess I'll cancel my plan to build a plywood model of "Little Boy" in my backyard.

  • Paul||

    "give a g**damn about anybody's constitutional f***ing rights."

    This is pretty normal behavior for law-enforcement. If I weren't so lazy, I'd post a youtube video of a Border Parol agent telling a motorist "your constitutional rights don't matter here".

  • ||

    It's strange that the zombies would be protesting ""mindless" consumerism in Minneapolis's public downtown shopping district" given just how few places there are to shop in Minneapolis's downtown.

  • Avatar300||

    That's why I only shop at Ridgedale.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Sissy. The only place real manly Mpls men shop is at Axman.

  • Patriot Henry||

    "Better to get in the habit of grabbing a shovel and doing the zombie beheading yourself, American consumerists. It's only a matter of time."

    Why are you advocating murdering those exercising their right to protest? Is it because their acts offend your Mal-Wart sensibilities? Their zombie makeup and ideals don't coordinate with your Louis Vuitton handbag?

  • ||

    Why are you advocating murdering those exercising their right to protest?


    Ummm, I really don't think she is.

    She's making a joke in a story that otherwise focuses on the unlawful suspension of said people's rights.

    Either that or she really believes the protesters _were_ zombies, in which case she needs to write here more often because it would be too awesome.

  • ||

    How the hell can you behead a zombie with a spade? You'd have to hold them down against a solid surface and make repeated thrusts with the blade. I mean, maybe if you ground down and honed the edge you could do it more quickly, but you'd have the rest of the zombie mob down on you after a couple chops.

  • OMG||

    No … it's because the only good Zombie is a dead Zombie

    Prove me wrong.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Rob.

    If he is dead, where would I go for hot go-go dancers in the desert grinding to guitar licks?

  • anonymous||

    Zombies are dead, they don't have human rights.

  • VikingMoose||

    they'd be easy to catch, at least.

    um.

    *takes big swig of whiskey*

    ahh. much better

  • TP||

    The zombies in question were part of a protest against "mindless" consumerism in Minneapolis's public downtown shopping district.

    Are you sure it wasn't a protest against Umbrella Corporation?

  • ||

    First Resident Evil reference I've seen on a Reason zombie story.

  • Mad Max||

    (Charles Bronson accent) And what about that little girl whose brains got eaten? What about *her* rights?

    By the way, click on my handle if you want to see how our Founding Fathers deal with zombies.

  • happycat808||

    kmanguward

    What is the collective noun for zombies? Think herd of cows, gaggle of geese, murder of crows. http://bit.ly/bllsCA about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

    @kmanguward I believe it's a "bunch" of zombies, but it also might be a "party" of zombies. Write your own next punchline to "party".

  • OMG||

    It is "hoard", without a doubt.

  • TB||

    I cast doubt onto hoard, and replace it with "horde".

    Horde, without a doubt.

  • ||

    It's a ramble of zombies.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    A lurch of zombies

  • ||

    It's tough to be friends with zombies because their personal hygiene habits are just awful.

    I think the proper word for a group of zombies is a "slab".

  • Reg Shoe||

    This is a victory over vitalist oppression.

  • ||

    These judges will be eating there words when the zombies come to eat their flesh.

  • ||

    Once again we see that the First Amendment is not about whether those doing the speaking (or the associating, or the petitioning of the government for redress of grievances) are real, flesh-and-blood people, artificial, corporate people, or former people: undead zombies. The First Amendment is about "Congress shall make no law..."

  • ||

    The plural noun I have most often seen associated with zombies is "horde."

    For the fast-moving ones, perhaps "mob" or "swarm" might be more appropriate.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Fast zombie are a myth. Therefore I submit "a lurch of zombies".

  • Pope Jimbo||

    I'd like to state that I proposed a lurch of zombies above before I read this.

    I think that puts Big Muddy and I in the lead when it comes to zombie nomenclature.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Then shouldn't you be wearing the bucket?

  • ||

    "a drill sergeant with new recruits," and said that he didn't "give a g**damn about anybody's constitutional f***ing rights."

    ....and it is wondered why some refer to people like this as Pigs. Though I suppose the more correct orwellian metaphor is a dog.

  • Coeus||

    I've always preferred "bacon-scented sack of shit". As in "Get a load of that bacon-scented sack of shit over there tazing that paraplegic for asking an impertinent question."

  • Hacha Cha||

    you fools want to give constitutional rights to the walking dead! madness!
    oh wait they weren't really dead? well thats bullshit then.

  • BakedPenguin||

    How the hell can you behead a zombie with a spade?

    Practice, man, practice.

  • Rod Argent||

    It's the time of the season for loving.

  • People Power Hour||

    Yes it is, and I love the smell of burning "bacon" in the morning.

  • Pond Scoggin||

    Clearly this is a penumbral right.

  • دردشة||

    thank u

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