Independent journalist said she was threatened by an individual while covering a Portland protest

August 25, 2020

Independent journalist Teebs Auberdine said she was threatened by an individual while covering a protest in downtown Portland, Oregon, on Aug. 25, 2020.

The protest was one of many demonstrations that broke out in response to police violence and in support of Black Lives Matter following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering protests across the country.

Several hundred people marched to City Hall the evening of Aug. 25, and the police quickly declared an “unlawful assembly” after the property was damaged, according to The Oregonian.

While Auberdine was livestreaming, she likely recorded some minor property crime, she said. She was approached by someone dressed in mostly black bloc, a tactic used by some protesters to conceal their identities by wearing black and baggy clothing and face coverings, wearing a helmet and respirator, she told the Tracker. They threatened her, she said, saying, "What did you see? Didn't see shit.”

"I was in the process of moving backward and then they came after me,” she said. “They threatened me and slapped my camera, which destabilized the gimbal, but it didn’t fall out of the clip."

"It was very physically threatening in a non-specific way, but it was very unsettling," she said.

The individual told her that if she filmed in a way that they weren’t comfortable with, she would be "run out" or have her camera smashed, Auberdine told the Tracker.

She asked someone she knew to watch after her, but that person "ended up getting arrested by the Portland Police Bureau that night for standing beside me,” she said. “initially I felt very responsible."

Auberdine was wearing a vest with large press markings on the front and back, she said, and also had a gimbal, microphone and reporting equipment.

“Whoever did it needs to direct their anger somewhere other than inflicting trauma on their allies. I've spent hundreds of hours, plenty of my own $, and sacrificed my health to stream,” she tweeted afterward.

In a follow-up tweet, she added, “Tonight was a mess. I’m a mess.”

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

Related Incidents

Journalist shoved, threatened by armed individual at pro-police rally in Portland

November 19, 2020
Videographer Garrison Davis was shoved by armed pro-police demonstrators, including one who bumped the journalist’s smartphone with a rifle butt while he covered a Nov. 19, 2020, rally in downtown Portland, Oregon, the journalist tweeted and told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.Protests had been held In Portland on almost a nightly basis since late May in response to police violence and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The …

Photojournalist’s camera damaged during arrest in Portland

November 5, 2020
Freelance photojournalist Clementson Supriyadi was assaulted and arrested by Oregon State Police while covering a protest in Portland, Oregon, on Nov. 5, 2020.In Portland, protests had been held on almost a nightly basis since late May in response to police violence and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the May 25 death of George Floyd. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering protests across the country.At around 8 p.m., …

Independent journalist shoved by law enforcement officers while covering protests

November 4, 2020
Garrison Davis, an independent journalist, said he was pushed by law enforcement officers in separate incidents while covering demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, on Nov. 4, 2020.Davis was documenting two protests in progress; one group was calling for every vote cast in the U.S. presidential election to be counted, while another expressed a combination of dismay with the electoral system and support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Protests had been held in Portland on almost a nightly basis since the …

Vice News journalist shoved by law enforcement officers while documenting Portland protests

November 4, 2020
Documentary filmmaker Lance Bangs was pushed by law enforcement officers while covering demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, on Nov. 4, 2020, according to videos posted on social media.Protests had been held in Portland on almost a nightly basis since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering BLM protests across the country.There were two main demonstrations in Portland on Nov. 4, with one group …
More related incidents