A Navy veteran who was pepper-sprayed and beaten by federal officers in viral video says he showed up to the Portland protest to talk — but ended up leaving with a broken hand.
Portland resident Christopher David said he was inspired to head downtown to check out the protests — which have been raging for at least 51 consecutive nights — after seeing news reports of the violent clashes between demonstrators and police, the Washington Post reported.
The former member of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps, 53, also wanted to ask the federal agents about the Constitution.
“Why are you not honoring your oath?” David yelled to the officers who had allegedly knocked some protesters to the ground as they rushed a line, he recalled to the newspaper. “Why are you not honoring your oath to the Constitution?”
One officer then struck David repeatedly with a baton before another federal law enforcement agent appeared to gas him directly in the face, according to footage posted to Twitter viewed more than 9 million times as of early Monday.
David, clad in a Navy sweatshirt, then turned away while flipping the middle finger, video shows. He found a nearby medic before going to a hospital, where he was told his right hand was broken in two places, the Washington Post reported.
David said he thought his Navy sweatshirt would tone down any potential standoff with the agents, he told The Oregonian.
“I thought the clothing would be a shield,” he said. “Turns out it had zero effect. They didn’t care.”
The 6-foot-2, 280-pound former wrestler said he wasn’t intimidated during the heated incident with the federal agents, who “seemed scared,” he said.
“The video makes me look even bigger than I am,” David told The Oregonian. “Those officers were small … They had no tactics, just seemed like a gang.”
But David, a laboratory scientist at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, pushed back on those on social media who have dubbed him “The Mountain” for standing tall during the onslaught.
“It’s just us normal people out there,” he told the Washington Post. “There were a whole group of pregnant moms standing out there linking arms and they got gassed. You hear people like [President] Trump say it’s just a bunch of wacko fringe people in liberal cities who are out there, but no way. We’re all just normal people who think what’s happening is wrong.”
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article