Journalist hit with projectile fired by federal officers during Portland protest

July 12, 2020

A journalist with Full Revolution Media said he was hit with a crowd-control munition by federal officers while covering a protest in the early morning hours of July 12, 2020, in downtown Portland, Oregon.

The demonstration was among the many 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.

The protest, which began on the night of July 11 and stretched past midnight, took place near the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, a frequent focus of demonstrators, according to local news outlet KATU. Protesters faced off with federal officers, who deployed crowd control munitions and CS gas, an aerosol and type of tear gas.

John, the Full Revolution Media journalist, told the Tracker that at approximately 1:49 a.m., he was hit in the shoulder and armpit with an impact munition fired by federal officers. He was about a half block away from the corner of Southwest Third Avenue and Southwest Salmon Street, near the district courthouse.

"When coming out of [the] courthouse they would deploy gas and shoot pepper balls…often shooting through clouds of tear gas," said John, who asked that his last name not be used out of safety concerns.

John, whose helmet has large “press” markings on the front and back, said he felt targeted, since he was standing alone. “Nothing was really happening in my area by park bathrooms, and I was uphill from [the] federal courthouse," he said.

John sustained bruising and minor abrasions on his shoulder, he said.

The Department of Homeland Security, which has coordinated the federal presence in Portland, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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