WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- An unarmed Vietnam veteran was pepper-sprayed in the face by a federal agent during a protest in Portland, Oregon.
- Mike Hastie, a former medic for the Army, was simply speaking his mind when an agent sprayed him in the face and shoved him away.
- A photographer on the scene said that Hastie “was incapacitated for a good amount of time and needed several flushes of water before he could start walking.”
A federal agent was seen pepper-spraying a Vietnam veteran in the face during an ongoing protest in Portland, Oregon.
President Donald Trump declared that the federal agents were there to stop the protesters he described as “anarchists who hate our Country.”
Former Army medic Mike Hastie was unarmed during the incident, however. Footage from the incident showed him simply speaking his mind in front of the law enforcement agents when he was suddenly pepper-sprayed in the face by an unidentified fatigue-clad agent.
Journalist Andrew Kimmel shared footage of the scene on Twitter:
According to another photographer on the scene, Hastie “was incapacitated for a good amount of time and needed several flushes of water before he could start walking.”
Hastie was heard in one of the clips saying he was born in 1945, which makes him either 74 or 75 years old.
Veterans for Peace, of which Hastie was a member of, shared that he was a lifelong activist. They shared the footage of the incident with the caption, “VFP member Mike Hastie speaking out against the history of unjust and unlawful orders,” and urged the federal agents to #StandDown.
VoteVets, an anti-Trump progressive veterans’ group, also shared the footage with the caption, “This is NOT how we should treat our veterans.”
Protests against police brutality and racial profiling have been ongoing in cities like Portland ever since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police on May 25.
The president has condemned the protests and called the protesters “radical-left criminals.” He has since deployed federal agents clad in combat gear to “restore peace” in several cities.
More than two dozen Senate Democrats questioned this decision in a letter to the president last week.
The letter argued, “Critically, it remains unclear what legal authorities the federal government has invoked for its militarized interventions in American cities.”