Friday, May 10, 2013

 

Portland airport stripper fights $1K federal fine


A Portland ordinance forbids indecent exposure in a public place that is open to the opposite sex.

 A man, in protest of TSA screening, stripped down at PDX airport anyway.


 Portland airport stripper: In this July 18, 2012, file photo, John Brennan, the man who stripped at Portland International Airport to protest TSA screeners, testifies during his trial in Portland, Ore.

AP Photo: Rick Bowmer. Portland airport stripper
John Brennan faces a $1,000 federal fine after an administrative
hearing next week, and he expects to lose. 


PORTLAND, Ore. — John Brennan, who stripped naked last year to protest a security check at Portland's airport, said he expects to lose the first round of his legal fight against a $1,000 fine.

Still, he plans to press his free-speech argument in an appeal and push for effective security checks that aren't as invasive.
"I totally support airport screening," Brennan told The Oregonian  newspaper in a story Thursday. "I just don't want it to be at the expense of my constitutional rights."

Brennan has a court date on Tuesday before an administrative law judge. His attorney, Robert Callahan, said the free-speech argument won't be allowed as Brennan fights the fine, but an appeal in the federal court system would present an opportunity to make it.

A call to the Transportation Security Administration for comment wasn't immediately returned.

In April 2012, as Brennan started a business trip to California, he declined to step into a TSA body scanner.

Portland airport stripper: In this April 17, 2012, file photo, John Brennan stands naked after he stripped down while going through a security screening area at Portland International Airport, as a protest against airport security procedures.
AP Photo: Brian Reilly, file. Portland airport stripper
John Brennan plans to press his free-speech
argument in federal court. 
He was asked to walk through a metal detector and submit to a pat-down. A screener said traces of nitrates, which could indicate an explosive, were detected.

Brennan took off his clothes to show he wasn't carrying anything explosive and to get the security check over quickly, he said.

Video broadcast Friday on KATU-TV shows TSA workers building a screen of plastic bins around him.

In July, a judge in Multnomah County found Brennan not guilty of violating a Portland ordinance that forbids exposing genitals in public and in the presence of the opposite sex.

The judge said that Brennan was acting in protest and that his strip was protected speech.

A few weeks later, Brennan said, he was told he'd be fined for violating a rule that forbids passengers to interfere with, assault, threaten or intimidate the screeners.

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