Oregon Man Not Guilty in Naked TSA Protest Case
John Brennan, the Oregon man charged with indecent exposure was found not guilty.
Multnomah County judge David Rees dismissed the case, citing free speech expression and a 1985 appeals court ruling that nudity laws don’t apply in the case of protest.
“It is the speech itself that the state is seeking to punish, and that it cannot do,” Rees said.
Oregon is lenient with regard to nudity laws, and Brennan said he felt he wasn’t breaking the law.
In April Brennan was arrested after TSA agents say he took off all his clothes and refused to put them back on while passing through the ABC checkpoint.
He has participated in the Rose City’s Naked Bike Ride, which sees hundreds of people riding naked through the city with no police hindrance.
TSA agents and police said they asked Brennan numerous times to put his clothes back on, but he refused, according to a spokesman.
“While some passengers covered their eyes and their children’s eyes and moved away from the screening area, others stepped out of the screening lanes to look, laugh and take photos of Mr. Brennan,” according to a Port of Portland police report.
Brennan said he had a “right” to be naked.
“I know the irony of taking off my clothes to protect my privacy,” Brennan said. “They’re getting close to seeing us naked, so I thought I’d up the ante,” he testified.