Protester hit by gas round talks about his exchange with Phoenix police

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's the shot seen round the world; cringe-worthy video that everyone's talking about.

A man says he went downtown with friends, not with any particular group, to protest President Trump's visit. His clash with police wound up being one of the most memorable of the night. 

[RELATED: Activists: Police were aggressive, violent after Trump rally]

An 3TV/CBS 5 photographer caught the moment the protester kicked a can of tear gas back at police. They returned the favor with a nonlethal round, bringing him to the ground. 

"To be honest, in that moment when I kicked the can back, I knew I was going to get hit with something," said the protester, who has asked us not to use his name. 

[RELATED: Phoenix PD release more details on protests, arrests outside Trump's rally in Phoenix]

He spent last night in the emergency room for inhaling pepper spray and second degree burns from picking up a hot can of tear gas.

But it was a shot to the pelvic region from what was likely a gas round that had the most impact.

"It missed everything important, so it was just a couple inches too high. So it was just more of a shock and your body going into the turtle defense mode kind of thing," he said. 

[RAW VIDEO: Police, mayor talk about post-rally violence]

The video has now been viewed thousands of times online. 

"I'm laughing at myself. I've got a great sense of humor. If you can't laugh at yourself and the memes today have been great, I don't mind it," he said.  

The protesters gathered much earlier in the day and mixed with rally-goers peacefully. It wasn't until later in the evening that the mood changed. 

[RELATED: 4 arrested, 2 officers suffer heat exhaustion after protest turns unruly outside Trump rally]

Police say a handful of protesters threw rocks and water bottles at officers, possibly going beyond their constitutional rights to free speech, according to attorney Mark DuBiel.

"That could certainly violate a couple of statutes, disorderly conduct, it could be an assault. Even if it's a simple assault on a police officer that's actually a felony," said DuBiel. 

[SLIDESHOW: Police, Trump protesters clash in downtown Phoenix]

"I think that's the debate we need to be having as a city or as a country," the protester said. "That was not an unlawful assembly, and I had every right to be there. That tear gas was in the way of myself and others peacefully assembled protesters being there."

DuBiel says is unlikely the protester will face and legal trouble for kicking the tear gas can back at police, since it would be difficult to prove he had intentions to harm officer, which the protester says he did not.

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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