Navy Veteran Beaten by Portland Feds
By: Rhea Agrawal
Christopher J. David, a Navy Veteran, was beaten and tear-gassed by Portland federal agents after walking up to them in an attempt to explain to them that how they were handling protesters was unconstitutional.
Mr. David, a 53-year old, had tried to stay away from downtown Portland and ignored the protests because of health risks from the coronavirus. However, when he saw videos of federal agents seizing protesters and putting them into rented minivans, he knew that he needed to take initiative.
Following the death of George Floyd, protests rose all around the country. In Portland, Oregon especially, protests have continued for 50 consecutive days. Some protesters have turned to more violent actions, such as burning buildings and government property, and also looting stores. Portland has been more ramped up on security, as many members of antifa, an anarchist society, are based there.
“In Oregon, a state with a deep history of racism that included racial-exclusion laws that extended into the 20th century, the Portland protests have persisted since George Floyd’s killing even as Black Lives Matter demonstrations have waned in many other parts of the country.” says Mike Baker, a New York Times Author of another article regarding Portland protests. The amount of protests on the street resulted in President Trump sending more feds to the city, which many believe might have made matters worse.
Although actions that some feds are taking is undoubtedly unconstitutional, others argue that the unrest is distracting from the objective of racial justice. The main idea of racial justice is for all races to be deemed equal, but vandalizing could take away from what others are trying to protest for.
As Mr. David prepared to approach the feds, he made sure that it was very clear that he was a navy veteran. He had patches on his backpack honoring his time serving in the Navy’s Civil Engineering Corps, the Seabees. “I identified the hell out of myself for a reason, I want to give them pause so we could talk,” he explained. “So I wanted to go down there to tell them that I believed they were not following their oath to the Constitution. That was my goal.”
However, as he approached the federal agents, as shown in this video footage taken by Zane Sparling, he was immediately beaten in his arm with a baton and with tear gas. He defiantly walked away, holding his two middle fingers up high to the feds that refused to listen to him. After the event, he was taken to a hospital, where it was confirmed that his right hand was broken and would need surgery.