Live streamer and independent media representative Joey Wieser recounted how he was shoved and spayed with pepper spray in the eyes and mouth by Seattle police during a Black Lives Matter protest in the US city on Saturday, during an interview in Seattle with RT on Sunday.
Wieser said police officers got “closer and closer” to him while he said, “Hey, I am being peaceful, I am backing up.”
According to Wieser, a police officer then shoved him into a crowd, before proceeding to pepper spray him “directly in the eyes” when he started filming him. “At that point I cannot breathe and I cannot see,” Wieser recounted.
“For them to target me that way was really surprising, because I have been out here for the past two months now and this is the first time that I have had such an aggressive response from the Seattle police department,” the live streamer continued.
Wieser said Seattle police had already hit a “high-profile” stringer named Omari Salisbury with a blast ball, and that as a result Salisbury “had debris all over him.”
According to Wieser, the police’s aggression towards protesters and media workers was a “retaliatory response” against calls to defund police and free protesters, as well as for the city’s mayor and police chief to resign. Such a response was seen by Wieser to be in “lockstep with the deployment of the federal agency.”
After saying that the police officer’s guild’s request for federal agency was contrary to what asked for by Seattle Police chief Carmen Best, Wieser said he felt that “maybe police officers are torn, they clearly seem to be provoking with impunity and they are shooting with munition into the crowd.” “At this point, we are not really sure who they are following or who they are accountable to.”
On July 22, US President Donald Trump announced a surge of federal law enforcement into cities run by Democrats, including Seattle, as part of his “law and order” campaign. Massive anti-police brutality and anti-racism protests have been taking place all across the US and abroad since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25.