Christopher David is a 53-year-old Navy veteran who was beaten by federal troops during an Oregon protest. The Portland encounter was captured in a now-viral video, earning David the title “Captain Portland.”
The city resident told CNN that he had never been to a protest before, but decided to attend the July 18 demonstration to confront federal officers. Over the past week, federal troops have been spotted arresting protesters in unmarked cars, the outlet reported.
“I was going to ask why they weren’t living up to their oath of office, the Constitution,” David said to CNN. ” All I wanted to do was ask them why?”
Anti-police brutality protests have dominated Portland’s streets for more than 50 days following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody, according to CNN.
When David faced the troops, shouting “Why are you not honoring your oath,” he was met with batons and pepper spray, the Washington Post added.
Portland Tribune reporter Zane Sparling filmed the encounter and posted it to Twitter.
The 11-second clip shows David, sporting a Navy sweatshirt, stand his ground as federal troops beat him with their batons.
It wasn’t until the officers employed their pepper spray, that he turned away while giving them the bird.
The video amassed 10 million views at the time of this article’s publication, with many hailing David as a hero.
“The baton hits weren’t the issue but when they used pepper spray it was over; it felt like they dumped a gallon of burning gasoline on my head,” he told CNN.
David announced on Twitter that, although his hand is broken in two places and requires surgery later on in the week, he plans to be back on the front lines soon.
Here is everything you need to know about Christopher David:
A Colorado Native, David Studied at the Oregon Health & Science University
David hails from Lakewood, Colorado, according to his Facebook page.
The Oregon Health & Science University is listed as his education.
OHSU is “the only academic health center in Oregon, but [we’re] also nationally distinct as a university dedicated solely to advancing health sciences,” the university’s website states.
2. David Graduated From the U.S. Naval Academy & is a Former Member of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps
After high school, David attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, his Facebook page indicates.
The veteran confirmed to the Portland Tribune that he served with the” Navy Seabees while becoming a commissioned officer and aeronautical engineer.”
David graduated from the Naval Academy in 1988, according to a post from his Facebook.
3. David Used to be a Wrestler
On Twitter, David took a moment to redirect his newfound fame toward the USNA wrestling team.
“I’d like to put in a plug for the USNA wrestling team. Please go watch them compete! Almost nobody used to come to our matches,” he wrote on July 19.
Oregon Live confirmed that David is a former wrestler.
Twitter users have since dubbed the veteran “Captain Portland” following his viral video.
Standing at 6’2″ and 280 lbs., David told Oregon Live that he was not intimidated by the officers.
“The video makes me look even bigger than I am,” he expressed. “Those officers were small. They seemed scared. They had no tactics, just seemed like a gang.”
4. David is a Laboratory Scientist at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Oregon Live disclosed that David is currently a laboratory scientist at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
After his scuffle, David told the outlet that he tended to his hand injuries at home. He then called the doctor the next morning.
David announced on Twitter that he will most likely need “plates, screws and/or pins” this coming Friday.
5. David Says He Doesn’t Want to Take Away From the Movement
David told CNN that he wants to keep the focus on Black Lives Matter and its original mission.
He also took to Twitter to thank the supporters of the cause.
“It’s unbelievable that any American intentionally injures another for political purposes.
Protesters have died, lost teeth, lost eyes, have had bones broken- violence against the bodies of caring civilians hurts my soul,” he wrote on July 20. “The hope you give comes at a cost to you. Thank you. he wrote on Twitter.”