Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
03:22 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
17 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Judge: Man who stripped nude at airport not guilty
Associated Press
John Brennan, the man who stripped at Portland International Airport to protest TSA screeners, is shown in the court room before the start of his trial Wednesday, July 18, 2012, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
John Brennan, the man who stripped at Portland International Airport to protest TSA screeners, is shown in the court room before the start of his trial Wednesday, July 18, 2012, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A+ A-

PORTLAND, United States: An Oregon man who stripped nude at Portland's airport security to protest what he saw as invasive measures was found not guilty of indecent exposure.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge David Rees ruled Wednesday that John Brennan's act was one of protest and therefore, protected speech.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Joel Petersen argued that Brennan's strip-down was an act of indecent exposure.

"I was aware of the irony of removing my clothes to protect my privacy," Brennan said from the witness stand on Wednesday.

On April 17, Brennan arrived at the airport intending to take a business trip to San Jose, Calif. He works with groups in Silicon Valley and flies out of Portland International Airport about once a month.

When he reached the gate, he declined to go through the airport's body scanners, instead choosing the alternative metal detector and body pat-down. After the pat-down, Transportation Security Administration officer Steven Van Gordon detected nitrates on the gloves he used to check Brennan.

"For me, time slowed down," Brennan said. "I thought about nitrates and I thought about the Oklahoma City bombing."

Brennan said before his trial that after months of angst every time he went through security, the nitrate detection was the final straw for him, a wordless accusation that he was a terrorist.

So he took off all his clothes.

A TSA agent stacked plastic crates high onto several carts and positioned them around Brennan. Port of Portland police arrested Brennan and took him to the Multnomah County Jail.

Brennan, 50, demanded a jury trial in early May, but was turned down.

Brennan insists he didn't come to the airport intending to protest. He had called the Port of Portland - which operates the airport - a year earlier to ask whether Oregon's rules involving nudity applied at the airport. Brennan said he was told that they did. Brennan said in court that he asked because he had considered nudity as an act of protest, but hadn't found cause to strip down.

The law says that naked people are only breaking the law if they're having sex in public or got undressed "with the intent of arousing the sexual desire" of another person.

But if Brennan truly was acting in protest, Petersen asked, then couldn't anyone be arrested while naked make the same claim?

"Any person naked for any purpose will be able to say it was protected speech," Petersen said.

Portland would be an interesting test case for such a question. After all, this is the city with the World Naked Bike Ride, before which police simply send out a light admonition to "all riders at least wear a helmet and shoes."

As Brennan left the stand Wednesday, he said that his protest was also intended to give the TSA an idea of the effect its policies had on travelers, especially the body-scanners that produce images of passengers without clothes on.

"I wanted to show them it's a two-way street," he said. "I don't like a naked picture of me being available."

 
Home International
 
     
 
United States of America
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS