PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A woman who was tear-gassed and sprayed in the face by an officer spoke exclusively with CBS3’s Joe Holden. The incident happened earlier this month when those protesting George Floyd’s death converged on the Vine Street Expressway.
Christina Sorenson took a seat with others in the middle of the Vine Street Expressway, when moments later she was sprayed in the face by law enforcement.
“I put my hands behind my back, I was waiting to be arrested and then I felt somebody pull on my goggles and then spray me directly in my eyes,” Sorenson said.
Sorenson’s lawyers can’t say with certainty what the substance was.
“At most, if they were going to do something, they could have arrested them for blocking the highway if they wanted to. But rather than accept the peaceful surrender of protesters, they decided to take it upon themselves to attack those protesters,” attorney Thomas Fitzpatrick said.
Sorenson, an attorney herself, is now reviewing options with her lawyer, Fitzpatrick.
The June 1 incident followed authorization by a police commander to escalate force to clear people from the highway after investigators say a state police trooper became surrounded by demonstrators.
Video from the ground and Chopper 3 showed officers firing tear gas canisters.
Sorenson said her eyes burned for some time but her doctors believe she’ll be OK.
As for what should happen to the officer who she says pulled down her goggles and sprayed her in the face?
“I think any officer who meets peace with violence should lose their job,” Sorenson said.
There are numerous probes and investigations into the use of force that day by the Philadelphia Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police.
Sorenson says she was not detained or arrested.