Independent journalist Janusz Malo was kicked and verbally attacked by an individual attending a counterprotest to a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Thurston, a suburb of Springfield, Oregon, on July 29, 2020.
Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets in Thurston after a noose was hung in a front yard close to the house of a Black resident. According to local media, the protest began peacefully, but as the marchers progressed, they were confronted by counterprotesters, bystanders and eventually police, who ended the demonstration by forcing the demonstrators off the streets and arresting five.
Malo, who was in Thurston reporting for Double Sided Media, an Oregon-based media collective, reported being attacked while walking down a residential street behind a group of protesters.
Malo told the US Press Freedom Tracker that a few counterprotesters were on the sidewalk, but “At that point I didn’t have any negative interaction.” One of the individuals kicked the journalist from behind and yelled “Get the fuck out of here,” Malo said. “I turned around, held out my press pass and I yelled ‘I’m press,’” Malo said. However, according to Malo, the assailant was not looking at the journalist, “so he couldn’t have seen that I had my press pass” and may have mistaken Malo for a protester.
Malo did not suffer from long-term injuries and did not report the incident to the authorities. After the attack Malo went back to work, reporting on the protest.