John Brennan, who took off all his clothes while being detained by the TSA at the Portland [OR] International Airport (PDX) in protest of his continued detention and the TSA’s excessively intrusive “screening”, was found not guilty today of indecent exposure at the conclusion of a bench trial (during which Mr. Brennan testified, clothed, in his own defense) in Multnomah County Court. According to an Associated Press report on the trial:
A Multnomah County prosecutor said if Brennan’s actions are considered protected by the First Amendment, then anyone who is arrested while nude can also claim that their actions are a protest.
That leaves Mr. Brennan out of pocket for the legal expenses of defending his innocence. The “not guilty” verdict in the criminal case brought against Mr. Brennan leaves open the possibility, as already threatened by the TSA, of a civil action to fine Mr. Brennan for “interfering” with TSA screeners in the performance of their duties. On the other hand, the “not guilty” verdict also leaves open the possibility of a civil suit by Mr. Brennan against the checkpoint staff and police who violated his rights.