In June, United Airlines pilot Michael Slynn was briefly detained at the airport in Rio de Janeiro after he dropped his pants at a security checkpoint. According to the report, Slynn was asked to remove his belt and shoes, and in response he "laughed at the officers and lowered his pants to his ankles." For this heroic action, he was arrested and later released on condition that he appear in court the next time he returns to Brazil (which I assume will be never).
Seems to me he was just trying to cooperate. By dropping his pants they could more easily check to make sure he was not sporting an underwear bomb, and with security goons everywhere trying to get full-body scanners installed all over the place, you'd think they'd appreciate this much cheaper solution to the problem of how to see everybody naked.
I am always impressed with Google's ability to translate web pages in virtually any language, even if the translation sometimes leaves something to be desired. I enjoyed the translation from Portuguese of this report from the newspaper El Globo:
RIO – An American pilot was irritated at having to take the belt and shoes to pass the X-ray machine and decided to stay in his underwear in . . . Tom Jobim International Airport, about 18 hours this Friday. According to the officer Rafael Andreatta, the Police International Airport Federal Police, Michael Deneer Slynn, 49, mocked the federal police who were in the security of the shipment.
"He failed to comply with safety standards and was still making fun of the police," [Andreatta apparently said]. "It was not indecent exposure because he did not take all clothing. The reason for the arrest was cute."
[Slynn] was arrested and booked for contempt of authority, but was released because the company had no other United Airlines employee to fly the plane to Washington, the United States. The U.S. has signed a commitment to submit to justice when he returns to Brazil. If you do not agree to pay a fine, prosecutors will ask that it be processed, which may yield to the gringo a prison sentence of up to one year.
Like I said, if I were this gringo, I would not be in any hurry to visit Brazil again (no matter how cute their arrests are), so problem potentially solved.
Also on El Globo's site, an apparently angry Brazilian commented (again as translated by Google):
Or detained or deported and hunted for a work permit. Bet q flies to South America why not have "skills" to attend the first world. Q The company turned around to remove the avição here! If it were the contrary, Hillary Clinton would already be in a closed room with the president in demanding an apology via CNN!
I think Sr. Etodos may be mistaken here in assuming Slynn was expressing contempt for Brazil in particular, as opposed to just being fed up with pointless security in general. I would be strongly opposed to any rule forcing people to drop their pants, just as I am opposed to the intrusive and mostly useless full-body scanners on which DHS is currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars. But I am even more strongly against any rule that forbids people from dropping their pants, especially in order to make a political statement in "contempt of authority."
What was the Revolution for, if not to secure the God-given right to drop our pants at the King?
Link: AP via Yahoo! News
Link: O Globo (Portuguese)