U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist assaulted at a Proud Boys rally in Portland

Incident Details

Date of Incident
September 26, 2020
Portland, Oregon


Was the journalist targeted?
September 26, 2020

Two independent photojournalists and a livestreamer were assaulted by an individual at a Sept. 26, 2020, rally in Portland, Oregon, according to interviews and multiple filmed accounts of the incident.

National leaders of the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as a hate group, organized the rally, which drew between 200 and 300 people to Portland’s Delta Park, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.

Journalists and others at the rally posted videos online showing a man shoving around independent journalists Zack Perry and Justin Katigbak.

The same assailant was also recorded throwing a livestreamer to the ground, kicking him in the face and throwing the journalist’s phone over a fence. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documented the assault on the livestreamer, who goes by the name Jovanni, and damage to his equipment here.

Perry told the Tracker that prior to the assaults, a “huge chunk of the crowd” moved away from a stage erected in the park to chase after Jovanni. A Proud Boys member working security at the event managed to keep the crowd at bay to allow Jovanni to leave, Perry said.

Perry, Jovanni and other journalists walked away from the scene together. But the man followed after them, “stalking us and berating us” and blaming them for “burning down the city of Portland,” Perry said.

The assailant “pushed me very aggressively multiple times and punched me in the back of the head on two separate occasions but we just kept walking,” Perry said.

Katigbak told the Tracker that he began to follow the group after he noticed that the assailant was pursuing the two journalists, recording the altercation with a Nikon Z6.

“I noticed this guy was going after them and I followed to video,” Katigbak said.

Instagram user Gabby Albano posted a video of the assailant following Perry and Jovanni and giving Perry a shove from behind.

Soon after that exchange, the man shoved Jovanni into a nearby fence and kicked him in the face while he was down before tossing the livestreamer’s phone over the fence.

In Albano’s video, a man wearing a black polo shirt with yellow trim — colors associated with the Proud Boys — is seen trying to restrain the assailant.

The assailant paces for about one minute before turning his sights on Katigbak. The assailant then shoves the journalist into a tree, causing Katigbak to fall to one knee. The Tracker has documented that incident here.

In a video posted by Portland Tribune reporter Zane Sparling, Katigbak is seen getting to his feet when another rally attendee, wearing combat gear with a rifle strapped to his vest, shoves the journalist several times before others step between them.

Perry told the Tracker he did not file a complaint. Katigbak said he filed a report with the Portland Police Bureau regarding the assault but that he has not followed up with the department in the months since.

PPB spokesman Derek Carmon told the Tracker on Feb. 1, 2021, that no one has been arrested in relation to Katigbak’s alleged assault and no suspects have been identified.

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