This Navy Veteran Took a Beating in Portland and Didn’t Even Flinch

July 21, 2020Marty Skovlund Jr.
Chris David

Screenshot via Twitter.

The United States has been grappling with civil unrest ranging from peaceful protests to all-out riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody. Portland has been in the national spotlight most recently after federal law enforcement from various elements of the Department of Homeland Security were deployed to the city, resulting in increased tensions and tactics that have caused calls for the agencies to leave. 

That’s why Chris David, a former U.S. Naval officer and Naval Academy graduate local to the Portland area, took the bus downtown to join protesters on Saturday night. He wanted to ask the federal officers one question.

“I stood in the street in front of them and I started asking them if it was okay to violate their oath of the Constitution,” David said in an interview with a local CBS affiliate 

The chaotic interaction was caught on camera, showing one officer shoving David backward. David caught his balance and planted his feet. That’s when the 53-year-old disabled veteran received multiple blows from a baton followed by pepper spray to the face without so much as flinching.

“They kept hitting [me with] batons and I think they decided that wasn’t going to work, so the two pepper spray hits I think I took, and that ended that,” said David. “That was not fun, so I flipped them off and walked to the corner of the park as best I could and I was losing my vision. I was walking through a giant cloud of CS gas.”

Chris David
Chris David served eight years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Photo courtesy of Chris David/CBS 6 KOIN.

Despite how it appears on camera, David did sustain injuries. He was treated on-scene by a field medic named Tav before being transported to the hospital by EMS. According to initial reports, he suffered a fractured hand that may require surgery. 

“They are playing me up as an Iron Man and a Superman. I’m a 53-year-old overweight man on blood thinners and I have a lot of physical damage from the military,” David said. “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.”

At the time of this article, tensions have continued to escalate in Portland and around the country, with feelings regarding the protests and the response to them largely split along partisan lines.


Marty Skovlund Jr.
Marty Skovlund Jr.

Marty Skovlund Jr. was the executive editor of Coffee or Die. As a journalist, Marty has covered the Standing Rock protest in North Dakota, embedded with American special operation forces in Afghanistan, and broken stories about the first females to make it through infantry training and Ranger selection. He has also published two books, appeared as a co-host on History Channel’s JFK Declassified, and produced multiple award-winning independent films.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

Ouija Board aircraft carrier
Low-Tech ‘Ouija Boards’ Have Helped Aircraft Carriers Operate for Decades

Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.

Army vs. Navy mascot
The Navy Goat vs. the Army Mule: Mascot Origin Stories

For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.

ukraine long-range weapon
Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Has Developed a Long-Range Weapon, a Day After Strike Deep Inside Russia

Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel the weapon was produced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries but gave no other details.

7 of the Best Movie Ambush Scenes of All Time

Ambushes make for great action scenes. Here are seven of the best to ever grace the big screen.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, with his daughter, center right, reportedly named Ju Ae, review the honor guard during their visit to the navy headquarter in North Korea
North Korea Launches Missile Toward Sea After US Flies Bomber During Drills

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch occurred Wednesday but gave no further details, such as how far the missile flew.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved