Oregon's naked airport protester says he'll fight TSA fine
PORTLAND, Ore. - Never-before-seen video that aired on KATU on Thursday night shows how TSA screeners reacted when Portlander John Brennan stripped during his body search.
Brennan faces a May 14 TSA hearing on his federal fine for disrupting the TSA screening process.
Brennan said Thursday night that when screeners hand searched him at Portland International Airport a year ago and told him they'd found traces of nitrates on his clothes, he'd had it: He stripped right there to prove he wasn't carrying nitrate-based explosives.
Once Brennan's naked, the video shows TSA screeners scrambling to bring in containers to build a wall around him to keep others at the airport from seeing him.
Brennan eventually beat local charges of indecent exposure but shortly after he stripped, he knew the feds had their own plans.
"Investigators came in and let me know that I would be investigated, and there would be a possible fine, so this is something I've been aware of from the start," he said.
The fine is $1,000.
The TSA fined Brennan under a subsection of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which reads: "No person may interfere with, assault, threaten, or intimidate screening personnel in the performance of their screening duties..."
Brennan says he didn't hamper screeners at all.
"I didn't. I was very cooperative. I was aware that I wasn't breaking the law, and was waiting for TSA to finish their screening when I was arrested," he said.
Brennan expects the TSA hearings officer to uphold his fine. After that, he plans to take his appeal federal court.
"That'll open the door for review of the constitutionality of the level of search and inspection that the TSA is doing," he said. "That we'll have more effective procedures that aren't so invasive."
A year later Brennan said he's even more convinced now that he did the right thing and that stripping naked has drawn attention to what he feels is basically an ineffective show for the public that infringes on several constitutional rights, including the presumption of innocence.