SEATTLE (AP) — A high school teacher says Seattle police unlawfully pepper sprayed him as he left a peaceful rally on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Garfield High School teacher Jesse Hagopian told reporters Wednesday that he had just finished speaking at the Jan. 19 rally and was talking on his phone, walking away, when he was hit by the spray.

The Seattle Times says  Hagopian has filed a $500,000 claim against the city, alleging police lacked cause to spray him.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said that “the uses of force that occurred during the MLK protests are currently under review and being investigated.”

KING-TV reports that a short video clip of the scene was provided by the local NAACP. It shows Hagopian walking into the frame and getting hit with the spray, along with a couple of other people nearby. The organization says the 15-second clip is the extent of the video in its possession. It was not clear who took the video.

 

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