U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Journalist hit with projectiles fired by federal agents while covering Portland protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
July 19, 2020
Portland, Oregon


Was the journalist targeted?
July 19, 2020

Independent journalist Donovan Farley wrote that he was hit with projectiles fired by federal law enforcement officers while he was covering protests in Portland, Oregon, on July 19, 2020.

Farley was covering one of the many protests that had broken out across the U.S. in response to police violence and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after the May 25 death of George Floyd. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering protests across the country.

The Portland protests, held nightly since late May, had grown more intense as the presence of federal law enforcement increased in early July. A temporary restraining order on July 2 that barred the Portland police from harming or impeding journalists wasn’t expanded to include federal agents until July 23. Farley is involved in the class action lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon, which led to the TRO.

Farley wrote on Twitter that he took a projectile in the ribs.

“No one there was aggressive and I was just filming and holding up my press pass, fed essentially shot my pass,” he tweeted at 11:58 p.m.

“My press pass was on my right hand this is where the munition hit me on the right side. He obviously shot directly at my press pass,” Farley wrote in a followup tweet with a picture of the wound on his rib.

He had to cut his reporting short because he was having trouble breathing, according to a later tweet. Farley didn’t respond to a request for further comment.

The Department of Homeland Security, which has coordinated the federal presence in Portland, also didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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