Independent journalist assaulted while covering Portland protest

May 28, 2021

Andy Ngo, who identifies as an independent journalist and photographer and is an editor-at-large for the conservative news site The Post Millennial, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker he was assaulted while observing a protest in Portland, Oregon, on May 28, 2021.

Ngo is an out-spoken critic of antifa and has covered antifa demonstrations and protests since 2016, primarily publishing the videos taken on his GoPro to Twitter and YouTube. Ngo told the Tracker he does not wear press identification or badges while covering protests, and on the day of the assault was deliberately wearing clothing and ski goggles that would obscure his identity, citing his infamy in Portland’s “antifa community.”

Protesters had gathered in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland on May 28 shortly before 9 p.m. to mark the one-year anniversary of racial justice protests in Portland, The Oregonian reported.

Shortly before midnight, Ngo said, an individual at the demonstration approached him and began asking him questions. When he did not respond and walked approximately a block away, Ngo said, multiple others again approached and questioned him, including asking why he looked so nervous. One of the individuals then pulled off his goggles and mask, revealing his identity.

Ngo said he attempted to leave, but some of the individuals chased him, knocked him to the ground and punched him repeatedly. Ngo said he then took refuge in The Nines, a nearby hotel. The crowd attempted to follow Ngo into the hotel, Willamette Week reported, and pulled on the front doors shouting, “You wanna kill us? You wanna kill us, Andy?”

In his statement on Twitter, Ngo wrote, “No journalist in America should ever face violence for doing his or her job. Yet on Friday, May 28, Antifa tried to kill me again while I was reporting on the ongoing protests and riots in Portland, Ore. for a new chapter of my book.”

Ngo wrote that a medic from Portland Fire and Rescue escorted him through a back entrance of the hotel to an ambulance. He was then taken to a hospital, where he was treated for multiple injuries; Ngo told the Tracker he received injuries to his left leg, right hand, hip and a burst blood vessel in his eye. Ngo said he has a follow up appointment to check whether a bone in his wrist was fractured. He said he filed a police report about the incident.

The Portland Police Bureau told the Tracker via email that the department does not release information about crime victims, and did not respond to a request for an update on the status of the case.

A 2019 Vox explainer article outlines the history between Ngo, The Proud Boys and antifa, and how Ngo is considered by some to be more of a provocateur than journalist. Ngo has faced significant criticism from activists over the past year, who say that his coverage — particularly his posting of the arestees’ mugshots to Twitter — spurs death threats and harassment.

For the purposes of the Tracker, Ngo identifies as a journalist, has a track record of publication and said he was in the process of documenting a public event when he was attacked. For more about how the Tracker counts incidents, see our frequently asked questions page.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected]

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