Navy veteran assaulted by federal agents in Portland asked them why they're violating their Constitutional oath
A 53-year-old US Navy veteran, who was beaten up and maced by federal agents during a protest in Portland, has opened up about the assault which was captured in a viral video. The veteran, identified as Chris David, said that he went to the protest on Saturday, July 18, after seeing horrifying footage of federal officers driving in Oregon in unmarked cars, snatching protesters off the street, and spraying tear gas on them.
David said that as a former service member, he wanted to talk to the agents about why they were blatantly violating their oath to protect and serve. However, when he approached a group of federal agents outside a Portland courthouse, one officer began beating him with a baton, while another sprayed him with chemicals, David said. The assault broke the veteran's hand in two places. "I wanted to ask them: 'Why are you guys not following the Constitution?'" He told Reuters. "But we never got there. They whaled on me like a punching bag."
A video of the assault quickly became viral on social media, which showed David being beaten by a federal officer and sprayed with a chemical by another as he passively stood there. David, in the footage, was seen wearing a white Navy sweatshirt and was struck by a federal agent at least three times before the second one sprayed a chemical directly into his face, which made him turn away. The 53-year-old was struck at least two more times by the agents as he started to walk away and gave them the finger.
The man in this Portland video is Christopher David.— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) July 19, 2020
A Navy veteran, he tells us he went to the protests for the first time to ask officers about the constitution.
He said his fingers are broken and he needs surgery.
Shortly after the video garnered millions of views, multiple social media users praised him for allegedly standing up to federal officers, accused of excessive force and escalating violence, as they protect federal buildings. The veteran, during an interview with The Washington Post, revealed more details of the incident, saying when he first arrived at the protest, he stayed back from most of the crowd because of his pre-existing health conditions, which makes him vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.
The anti-racism protest reportedly kicked off with police firing tear gas into a line of local moms who had linked arms, demanding federal agents stop targeting Portland residents. The demonstration on Saturday marked 51st night of unrest in the city since George Floyd's death, who was killed in police custody. David said that he stood there watching before he saw some federal agents emerging outside the courthouse and heading into a line of protesters, knocking them to the ground.
The veteran then walked towards the agents and shouted: "Why are you not honoring your oath? Why are you not honoring your oath to the Constitution?" It was then when one of the officers drew his baton and pointed at him, while several other agents shoved him, causing him to stumble backward. When he regained his balance, he moved toward the agents again, and the officers in turn repeatedly struck David and maced him.
David recounted that the chemical blurred his vision and he made his way through a suffocating cloud of tear gas to a bench with his eyes stinging. A street medic then came to his aid and he was later taken to the hospital. An X-ray later revealed that his right hand had been broken in at least two places due to the assault.
"It's just us normal people out there," he told the outlet. '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." David, while remarking on the praise he was receiving on social media, said he's no hero.