Indian-American Rahul Dubey emerged as an overnight hero in the US after he sheltered nearly 70 protesters in his house in Washington D.C. Monday night.
The US has witnessed violent protests in the past week, after the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis. The African-American man died after a white policeman pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes, ignoring the former’s repeated pleas that he could not breathe.
Dubey, a 44-year-old first generation Indian-American, opened the door of his house when he heard a big wave of protesters trying to escape pepper spray and tear gas attack by the police.
He had already been allowing protesters to use his washroom and charge their phones, but after the police’s attack, he asked the protesters to take refuge in his house.
“There was a big bang, there was spray—my eyes started burning—I heard screaming like I’ve never heard before,” Dubey told a local news channel.
“I was yelling ‘get in, get in the house’ for about ten minutes,” he said. “They were spraying pepper spray into people’s backs and the side of their head. It was pandemonium and mayhem inside for about an hour and a half.”
According to Dubey, the police tried to pull the protesters out multiple times but could not succeed. They also faked a 911 call, claiming that someone had called them, he said.
Dubey added that the police were shooting pepper spray in through the window as well. “There was mayhem for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and then as soon as I stepped onto the front porch, [the police] said, ‘Get back in the house, or we’ll put you down’.”
The protesters left Dubey’s home when the district’s new curfew ended at 6 am.