A Seattle teacher is suing the city after a police officer allegedly pepper-sprayed him while he was walking by and talking to his mother on the phone, KOMO reported on Thursday.
Teacher and activist Jesse Hagopian said he was leaving a peaceful Martin Luther King Jr. Day protest on Jan. 19 when he was pepper-sprayed by a police officer who screamed for passersby to “get back.”
“I felt the piercing pain shoot through my eye, my ear drum and my nostril, all over my cheek and face,” Hagopian told the television station. “I yelled out. My mom was in distress as she heard me yell.”
Video of the police officer who allegedly pepper-sprayed Hagopian was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday by Hagopian’s attorney, James Bible, who filed a suit against the city on the same day.
“(Jesse) was pepper-sprayed irrationally by a police officer — no provocation and no reason,” Bible said. “We view this as a challenge to free speech.”
A spokesman for the Seattle Police Department told KOMO on Wednesday that he could not comment on the incident and had not seen the video.
Watch the video below, courtesy of Bible’s YouTube channel: