On Saturday evening, 53-year-old Chris David, a disabled Navy veteran, took a bus ride to downtown Portland. According to the Washington Post, he had seen videos of federal agents attacking protesters, whisking some of them away in unmarked vans, and was disturbed by what he saw. So he decided to go talk to them, to ask them what they thought of the oath they had made to defend the Constitution of the United States.
David, who had never attended a protest before, hung back and watched protesters outside the federal courthouse after he arrived on the scene. When the feds arrived, they rushed a line of protesters, and David took the opportunity to approach the agents. Standing before them in his Navy sweatshirt, he asked them, "Why are you not honoring your oath? Why are you not honoring your oath to the Constitution?"
At first, agents pushed him away, causing him to stumble. He regained his footing, then continued to question the agents. Video footage from Portland Tribune reporter Zane Sparling then shows one agent hitting David repeatedly with a baton, while David somehow stands firm and unflinching with every blow.
Captain Portland has arrived. #PortlandStrong 🎥@PDXzane https://t.co/svfRl5zYZX— Zakir Khan (@Zakir Khan)1595145011.0
"I stood my ground at that point and just stayed there...I did nothing provocative," David told The Independent. They just started wailing on me with batons, and I let them. I probably could've taken a lot more baton blows if they had not sprayed pepper spray all over my eyes."
After the pepper spray, David turned around and walked away, flipped the agents the bird, then stumbled into a cloud of tear gas. He managed to make his way to a park bench where he was helped by a medic.
"I would really, really, really like to thank Tav," he wrote on Twitter. "She's my street medic angel who pulled me out of the park and took me to safety when I couldn't see anything anymore. She stayed with me the whole time and then her and her friends drove me around to find an ambulance."
I would really, really, really like to thank Tav. She's my street medic angel who pulled me out of the park and to… https://t.co/aoatPZbkf9— Tazerface (@Tazerface)1595171742.0
At the hospital, David found out that his hand was broken in two places. On Twitter, he shared that the surgeon had splinted his hand for now, but "plates, screws, and/or pins" await him on Friday.
People have made offers for donations or assistance, which David has said he doesn't need. However, he has said he wants to help raise funds for street medics and Black Lives Matter.
After an insane two days, I would like some help from the wonderful folks who follow me. First off, I don't want a… https://t.co/ellpGCsnDR— Tazerface (@Tazerface)1595254207.0
...which is way more than many folks right now. I would like help setting up GoFundMes for both street medics and… https://t.co/ENkKS8GMBJ— Tazerface (@Tazerface)1595254301.0
A true hero stands firm in the face of injustice, not for personal glory or recompense, but because it's the right thing to do. And a true hero redirects any attention or offers they receive to those who truly need it or who can further the cause of justice.
Christopher David proved himself a true hero this weekend, though he doesn't see himself as the superhero some are making him out to be.
"They are playing me up as an Iron Man and a Superman," David told KOIN News. "I'm a 53-year-old overweight man on blood thinners and I have a lot of physical damage from the military. So, I'm not made of steel at all. They could have killed me last night, as my ex-wife and daughter have reminded me 45 times this morning."
Thank you, sir, for reminding federal agents who and what they took an oath to protect and for the physical sacrifices you ended up making in order to do so.
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