An Oregon man who tore off his clothes to protest airport security was just exercising his free speech rights, a judge has ruled.Judge David Rees ruled John Brennan’s spontaneous strip-down was not indecent exposure because it was an act of protest, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Despite his victory, Brennan acknowledged getting naked at the Portland, Ore. airport was a little weird.
“I was aware of the irony of taking off my clothes to protect my privacy,” Brennan reportedly said on the witness stand.
On the day he bared everything, Brennan declined to enter an airport body scanner and opted for a pat-down instead.
After the pat-down, a security officer claimed he detected a potentially explosive chemical called nitrates on Brennan, the AP reported. That was the last straw for Brennan, who thought the officer was implying he was a terrorist.
So he got naked.
A security agent positioned plastic crates to hide his nude body, the AP reported.
Prosecutor Joel Petersen questioned the judge’s ruling Wednesday that Brennan was just exercising his free speech rights, saying it could provide a handy excuse for public nudity, the AP reported.
“Any naked person for any purpose will be able to say it was protected speech,” Petersen told the AP.
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