Duston Obermeyer is a USNA grad, a decorated USMC combat veteran, and a real estate broker in Lake Oswego. He is a former helicopter pilot, with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and previously held top security clearances. He is a co-founder of Wall of Vets. Obermeyer attended the protests outside the Hatfield Courthouse for the first time on July 18, 2020.
Obermeyer saw the federal officers shoot tear gas into the crowd without any advance warning and push a woman to the ground. The woman was thrown to the ground with such force that she slid across the pavement. Obermeyer saw no provocation for this use of force by the federal officers. While he was standing in SW Third Avenue with his hands up in a gesture showing that he meant no harm, Obermeyer heard a man to his left—whom he did not know, but whom he later learned to be Chris David—ask the officers if they understood their oath of office. They did not respond. Obermeyer then repeated David’s question, and asked the federal officers whether they understood what an illegal order was.
One federal officer walked up to David and struck him with a baton. The same officer then tried to strike Obermeyer. Other officers then approached and one pointed an automatic weapon in Mr. Obermeyer’s face while another shot him at point-blank range with an orange chemical irritant. One of the officers also struck Obermeyer in the face and chest with a baton. The gas was severely debilitating, and it took Duston days to recover from the gassing.