The man in the white sweatshirt, who seemingly was impenetrable while being beaten during the protests in Portland, has been identified as Christopher David, 53—a former Navy civil engineering corps officer and a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Footage of David being beaten by what many are calling Trump’s “secret police” went viral, leaving many in disgust.
David, who was attending the protests for the first time over the weekend, was shocked at what he saw.
“I wasn’t even paying attention to the protests at all until the feds came in,” David said to The New York Times. “When that video came out of those two unmarked guys in camouflage abducting people and putting them in minivans, that’s when I became aware.”
David said he had taken a bus to the Portland courthouse and was about the leave around 10:40 p.m. when federal officers emerged and started to get closer to the protestors. He said he wanted to ask the officers why they were violating their oath to the Constitution.
David, who is also a former Navy varsity wrestler, was then beaten with a baton by a federal officer dressed in camouflage fatigues. According to footage of the encounter, another officer sprayed him with pepper spray. David was taken to the hospital where a specialist said his right hand was broken and he would need surgery.
“I’m appalled and disappointed at the feds’ behavior—that whoever led them and trained them allowed them to become this way,” David said. “This is a failure of leadership more than it is a failure of their own individual behavior towards me.”
Ever since the protests against police brutality and racism began after the killing of George Floyd earlier this year, President Trump has repeatedly expressed his wish to come down hard on demonstrators, who he refers to as “thugs” and “terrorists.” The federal officers sent into Portland are there on President Trump’s orders to supposedly protect statues and monuments from being vandalized—but we all know that’s not the truth. In retaliation, Oregon is currently suing the federal government for the alleged violation of protestors’ civil rights.