Ric Peavyhouse struck by sponge round

Police shoot TV photojournalist with ‘less-lethal’ round at Portland protest

August 4, 2018

Ric Peavyhouse, a photojournalist with local TV station KATU, was filming a protest in Portland, Oregon, on Aug. 4, 2018, when a police officer shot him in the leg with a "less-lethal" foam-tipped round.

Mike Bivins, a freelance reporter who covers the city, was standing a short distance away from Peavyhouse and captured video of the sponge round striking him. He later posted the video on Twitter.

The video shows a small number of protesters in front of a line of Portland police officers. Peavyhouse is standing on the side of the street, holding a big TV camera on his shoulders and filming the line of police and the protesters.

In the video, police officer issues a dispersal order over a loudspeaker.

"All people in this area must immediately disperse," the officer says. "Failure to comply with this order may subject you to arrest or citation and may subject you to the use of riot control agents or impact weapons."

Suddenly, a small blue projectile — likely a 40mm plastic round with a blue foam tip — strikes Peavyhouse in his right thigh. He clutches his leg, turns around, and stumbles out of frame.

In an interview with KATU, Peavyhouse described being struck by the less-lethal round.

"Then I hear a tat-tat-tat-tat," he said. "A split second later, I feel like a crack on my leg, feels like a baseball bat hitting your thigh."

Peavyhouse tweeted that the 40mm sponge round left a large bruise on his thigh and made it painful for him to walk.

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

Related Incidents

Portland police shove freelance photographer Doug Brown with batons

August 4, 2018
Freelance photographer Doug Brown and independent journalist Donovan Farley were shoved by Portland police officers while covering a protest in Portland, Oregon, on Aug. 4, 2018.The journalists were in downtown Portland that day to cover the far-right "Patriot Prayer" protest and counter-protests for Paste magazine. Brown was taking photographs of protesters and Portland police officers, who were clad in riot gear and armed with batons and non-lethal weapons.A video that Brown posted on Vimeo shows journalists and protesters slowly retreating …

Portland Mercury reporter Kelly Kenoyer shoved while filming Patriot Prayer rally

June 3, 2018
Portland Mercury reporter Kelly Kenoyer was shoved while covering a far right rally in Portland, Oregon, on June 3, 2018.“It was a scary experience—the first violent protest I've covered, and I had a bit of that violence directed at me,” she wrote in a piece for Portland Mercury.Kenoyer told Freedom of the Press Foundation that she began covering the Patriot Prayer rally around 4 p.m., at which point there were around 20 people aligned with the far-right Patriot Prayer group …
More related incidents