Multimedia journalist pushed by police officer while covering riot in Portland
Independent multimedia journalist Grace Morgan said that she was shoved by law enforcement officers while covering a protest in Portland, Oregon, following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse on Nov. 19, 2021.
National protests began after a jury acquitted 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges for killing two men and injuring a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020.
At the time, Kenosha was the site of ongoing Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black resident, nearly three months after George Floyd, a Black man, died at the hands of a white police officer in Minnesota in May.
According to the Associated Press, about 200 protesters gathered in Downtown Portland, near the Multnomah County Justice Center, and blocked streets, broke windows and damaged doors of city facilities. Portland police later tweeted that objects had been thrown at officers and the demonstrations declared a riot.
Morgan, who was documenting the demonstrations, filmed a group of individuals confronting armed law enforcement officers in a parking garage. She told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker she was walking on the sidewalk when a Portland police officer pushed her with with the body of his long form gun and told her to “get on the fucking sidewalk.”
The garage doors keep dramatically opening and closing leading to bouts of short rushes and lots of yelling - an officer shoves me with his gun and tells me to “get on the fucking sidewalk”, while I am indeed on the sidewalk, and pushes me more so towards it. pic.twitter.com/glRPcYgsQL— Grace Morgan (@gravemorgan) November 20, 2021
“He came running out of a parking garage and turned the corner, and sort of ran into me,” Morgan said. “I immediately put my hands up and said very loudly ‘I’m press, I’m press!’ and that’s when he shoved me backwards with his gun.”
Morgan also said she was wearing a ballistic vest with “PRESS” clearly displayed on the front along with a reflective press badge and several other press credentials on a belt loop when the incident occured.
In 2020, the Tracker documented seven assaults of journalists covering protests surrounding the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Find documented aggressions against journalists following the November 2021 Rittenhouse verdict here and at Black Lives Matter protests here.