U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Oregonian reporter Eder Campuzano injured while documenting protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 4, 2018
Portland, Oregon


Was the journalist targeted?
— Twitter/@TylerDumontNews
August 4, 2018

Eder Campuzano, a reporter at The Oregonian, was hit in the head by a plastic water bottle while covering protests in Portland, Oregon, on Aug. 4, 2018.

“Moments after I began live-streaming the police response to yet another face-off between right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrators, blood was dripping from my head onto one of my favorite shirts and I was being escorted to The Oregonian newsroom,” Campuzano wrote in a first-person piece about the incident.

Tyler Dumont, a journalist at Fox 12 Oregon, captured a photo of Campuzano's bleeding head and posted it on Twitter, where it spread quickly.

Campuzano wrote that after he was hit, reporters, protesters, and onlookers quickly descended on him to make sure he was okay, and a street medic stemmed the bleeding with a gauze pad. Although he had to stop his livestream, he added, his focus remained on his reporting.

He reported that he was taken to urgent care, had his vitals taken by nurses, and had his wound stapled.

After being released from urgent care, Campuzano tweeted that he was OK.

He noted that this incident broke his 91-week streak of covering protests without getting hurt. He said that he generally takes precautions when documenting demonstrations, following police orders to the best of his ability and staying on the perimeter of the action.

“The pain subsided an hour after I arrived home," he later wrote in The Oregonian. "I just hoped that photo of my bloodied face wouldn't make it far."

By then, Dumont's photo of Campuzano's bleeding head had gone viral, and Campuzano reported that he was “flooded with concerned tweets, texts and emails from all over the country hoping I was okay," from people concerned that protesters had targeted Campuzano for violence because of his reporting.

Campuzano does not feel that he was attacked or targeted for violence at the protest. Instead, he believes that he was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I'm not the first reporter to sustain an injury in the field covering these things,” he wrote.

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