Federal agents in riot gear pepper-sprayed a Vietnam veteran and photojournalist during protests in Portland, Oregon, early Sunday morning.
A video of the altercation shows the journalist, identified as Mike Hastie, peacefully confronting a group of armed federal officers deployed by the White House who had formed a line across one of the city’s intersections.
Hastie describes himself as an army veteran in the video, saying he served as a combat medic during the Vietnam war.
The video recording begins in the middle of Hastie’s impromptu speech to law enforcement.
He explains that he witnessed American soldiers commit atrocities against the Vietnamese people, something he says the agents and their generation know nothing about.”‘We committed atrocities every single day in Vietnam. I stood next to a ditch in Vietnam and we murdered 170 Vietnamese people,” he said. “And you guys don’t know that!”
After less than 20 seconds, one federal officer quickly approaches him from somewhere off-camera and dispenses a nozzle of pepper spray directly into Hastie’s face. The officer holds the canister closer than an arm’s length from Hastie.
This is NOT how we should treat our veterans.
— VoteVets (@votevets) July 26, 2020
The federal agents, wearing camouflaged military gear, tell him to “back up” and “move” as they walk past him. One officer shoves him as the group walks by.
“That was a direct spray,” Hastie tells video producer Andrew Kimmel, who recorded the incident while wiping his eyes.
The video comes just a week after a clip went viral showing federal agents using a baton to beat a Navy veteran, 53-year-old Chris David.
David, 53, said he was drawn to the protest on the night of July 18 after seeing horrifying footage of federal officers driving around the Oregon city in unmarked cars, snatching demonstrators off the streets and spraying them with tear gas.
Navy veteran Chris David was beaten and doused with pepper spray by federal authorities dispatched to the protests in Portland, Oregon.
— CNN (@CNN) July 20, 2020