The man is charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure
"As a citizen one of my ways of expressing myself is being naked," Brennan says
TSA: When a passenger chooses to be purposefully disruptive, we notify police
John Brennan says he did not go to the Portland International Airport intending to get naked.
However after feeling harassed by Transportation Security Administration screeners on Tuesday, the 50-year-old man stripped all his clothes off in a protest that got him even more attention from airport screeners, national headlines and a stint in jail.
“I just took off my clothes and said ‘See, I don’t have any explosives,’” Brennan said. “The individuals at TSA are just doing their job and the whole organization needs to find a balance between safety and privacy. They use fear and intimidation and it’s got to stop somewhere.”
The TSA had a different take on the incident.
“TSA partners with the traveling public to screen all passengers safely and efficiently. When a passenger chooses to be purposefully disruptive, we notify law enforcement,” the organization said in a statement.
Brennan said he lives in Portland and was traveling to San Jose, California, for business. After he went through the metal detector and was patted down, a screener told him he tested positive for explosives, Brennan said.
Brennan said he felt “humiliated,” and that is when he decided to take all his clothes off. Brennan is no stranger to a naked protest as he has participated in a nude bike ride before in Portland.
He is no stranger to naked protest as he has participated in a nude bike ride in Portland, he said.
“I am aware that’s a tool I can use for free speech,” said Brennan. “I know that as an Oregonian and as a citizen, one of my ways of expressing myself is being naked. It gets people’s attention.”
Brennan got a lot of attention by standing in his birthday suit near the security area where people were retrieving their shoes and putting their belts back on.
Police said some passengers shielded their children’s eyes, while others laughed and snapped photos.
TSA officials called police officers, and Brennan was handcuffed. He was walked back to a holding room as officers tried to drape a blanket on him.
Brennan was later taken to a county jail. He faces charges of disorderly conduct and indecent exposure.
Brennan says it was worth it.
“I’m choosing liberty because my privacy and constitutional liberties are worth fighting for,” he said.