U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Portland police shove independent journalist Donovan Farley with batons

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 4, 2018
Portland, Oregon


Was the journalist targeted?
Doug Brown

A screengrab from a video recorded by Doug Brown shows Portland police officers shoving Brown backwards with batons on Aug. 8, 2018.

— Doug Brown
August 4, 2018

Independent journalist Donovan Farley and photographer Doug Brown 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 counterprotests for Paste magazine.

A video that Brown posted on Vimeo shows journalists and protesters slowly retreating before an advancing line of Portland police officers, as the officers fire non-lethal projectiles at them. At one point, the officers stop at the edge of a street and wait. Without warning, the officers begin running down the street toward Brown, Farley, and others. Once they reach them, they violently shove them backwards with their batons.

"Move!" the officers yell as they force Brown backwards.

"What's your name?" Brown asks one of the officers pushing him. "What's your name, sir? What's your name?"

The officer does not reply.

“Their response when we were pinned against a wall was to hit and push us repeatedly with their batons,” Farley wrote in an account for Paste. “We all either had press passes clearly displayed or were holding several obviously professional cameras when we were attacked, and there was a TV crew trailing the line of police, so we figured we’d be allowed to slide out of the way and do our jobs. We were wrong.”

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