Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) said protestors in Washington, D.C. who were calling for Israel to cease its military campaign in Gaza are “pro-terrorist,” and falsely claimed they pepper-sprayed police.
A reporter on the scene said it was actually police who pepper-sprayed the demonstrators.
Israel has been waging war in Hamas-controlled Gaza since the militant group carried out terrorist attacks that killed 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7. Hamas abducted an additional 200 people. In the weeks since those attacks, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. As casualties mount, so have calls for and end to hostilities, with 68% of Americans backing a ceasefire.
That sentiment is not shared by many in Congress, including Sherman, who deemed protestors outside the Democratic National Committee in D.C. to be “pro-terrorist.”
“Was just evacuated from the #DNC after pro-terrorist, anti-#Israel protestors grew violent, pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building,” Sherman tweeted on Wednesday night. “Thankful to the police officers who stopped them and for helping me and my colleagues get out safely. Apparently, these pro-#Hamas demonstrators want #Republicans to prevail in the next Congressional election.”
Semafor reporter Dave Weigel, formerly of the Washington Post, threw cold water on Sherman’s account.
“Yeah, Sherman is wrong,” he tweeted. “I was outside the building and saw a USCP officer spray protesters, not vice versa. (It’s around 1 minute into my video.) Lots of cameras there, I just took a few videos bc people tend to lie about these things.”
Afterward, Sherman went on CNN and reiterated his pepper spray claim, but received pushback from host Abby Phillip.
“I just want to make a note here that we don’t know exactly who was responsible for the pepper spray,” she said.
“I believe the Capitol Police,” Sherman replied.
Watch police pepper-spraying protestors above via Dave Weigel.