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Watch: Seattle teacher sues after police pepper spray him for talking on cell phone

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Posted at 6:45 AM, Jan 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-31 06:47:28-05

Seattle, Wa. — A Seattle teacher is suing the city after a police officer pepper sprayed him as he walked by while talking on his cell phone.

Jesse Hagopian says he was hit in the face with pepper spray as he passed by a line of officers blocking the sidewalk  during protests on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to local station Q13.

In video captured at the scene, Hagopian does not appear to be aggressive, or even part of the ongoing protests. He says he was just trying to get home while talking to his mother on his cell phone.

“I yelled out, my mom was in distress as she heard me yell and couldn’t see me,” Hagopian said.

Hagopian said he spoke at a separate, peaceful protest earlier in the day and believes police targeted him as payback for that action.

“I want everyone to watch that video and see for themselves.’ He is seeking $500,000 in damages.

The Seattle Police Department declined to comment.