The 35-year-old suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic condition that makes his bones fragile and more likely to break.
Shocking video shot in Portland captured the moment a disabled protester was violently arrested by riot police.
Dustin Brandon, 35, who is confined to a wheelchair, had is arms wrenched around behind his back and was dragged around the pavement before being zip-tied, after he apparently refused to move from outside a convenience store.
The confrontation was recorded by fellow protesters; the clip shows the officer dressed in heavy riot gear, ordering Brandon to go home.
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“I don’t have a home,” joked Brandon — who is also a comedian and activist — “I live with you.”
But the officer doesn’t find the gag very funny, and the tone of the interaction quickly changes.
He roughly grabs Brandon by the wrist and swings him round, almost tipping his wheelchair over.
“Okay alright alright I’m done!” Brandon submits, but the officer is unmoved, harshly pulling his arms behind his back and zip-tying them together.
The horrified crowd scream in protest as the officer’s baton-wielding colleagues rush in to form a wall around the arrest, while Brandon just repeats: “I’m not resisting!”
Brandon suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic condition that left his bones fragile and more likely to break.
It is not the only time he has been arrested at the protests in Portland, a city among the most unrested since the death of George Floyd under a police officer’s knee back in May.
Earlier this month he accused police of trying to break his arms during one such arrest.
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“They tried to break my arm – my right arm – when the first arrested me, while putting two pairs of cuffs on me, behind me. They ended up tearing my rotator cuff,” he told The Independent.
“Honestly, as a guy in a wheelchair, my f–king arms are everything. If I’m marching every day, if I’m protesting every day. What would you do – punch me in the mouth or break my arm? I know what I’d do if I was a police officer.”
Another video shows a police officer accuse Brandon of hitting him with his wheelchair; he was later charged with “interfering with a peace officer.”
Brandon told the publication at the time he knows what he is doing by using his privilege as a “disabled white guy”, knowing it was less likely he would get arrested — or so he thought.
“I know what I’m doing. I know the risk I’m putting myself in and I understand that as a disabled white guy, the privilege that I present in this situation,” he said.
Although he has marched with protesters almost every night, he apologized to the Black Lives Matter movement that it took for the death of George Floyd for him to realize his allyship was needed.
TooFab has reached out to Portland Police Bureau for comment.
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