A peaceful, 12-year veteran of the United States Navy defiantly and rightfully flipped the double bird to cops during ongoing protests of police brutality in Portland. In a video taken by Portland Tribune reporter Zane Sparling, Christopher James David can be seen surrounded by at least four riot officers. David is wearing a white U.S. Naval Academy sweatshirt and a backpack.
While standing face-to-face with one another, an officer who’s clearly diminutive in physical stature pushes David. Another officer then looks over his shoulder—presumably to check to see if there are any onlookers—before striking David with a baton three times. A third unloads a torrent of pepper spray on David’s face. Rather than cowering or falling to the ground, David turns his back, walks away, and throws both middle fingers in the air.
Task & Purpose reports that that David served as a civil engineer corps officers from 1988 to 1996 and as a reservist until 2000. His awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Rifle (Marksman), and Pistol (Expert).
Speaking to the New York Times, David said that he asked officers why they were violating the Constitution before things got physical.
“I’m appalled and disappointed at the feds’ behavior — that whoever led them and trained them allowed them to become this way,” David told the New York Times. “This is a failure of leadership more than it is a failure of their own individual behavior towards me.”