Injured activist recalls losing conciousness in teargas

TOLEDO (WTVG) - Dameon Caldwell is not the type of person who seeks out attention. In fact he really didn't want to share his story, it took a little convincing. As it turns out he was a big part of what happened Saturday near the Toledo Police Department Safety Building.

Dameon joined those protesting in a support role. He says he was working in the decompression area that had food and water.

When a firework exploded next to him, he became disoriented. That's when it took a turn, he walked toward the police line, inhaled teargas, struggled to stay on his feet, inhaled more teargas and eventually lost consciousness falling on the street.

"My chest is still in a little bit of pain and not being able to walk because I rolled my ankle. I'm recovering better than some of my peers," said Caldwell, who spent the rest of the day at the hospital.

The 25 year-old is community-minded. Once you hear about his background it will make sense why he was simply there to help. Caldwell is a member of several non-profit organizations, he also volunteers his time at multiple food banks and helps organize events that benefit the community.

"We're tired of being viewed as criminals, as a threat before people even get to know us. That's what the big fight is about. We want people to view us as equals and not as an immediate threat," said Caldwell.