Reporters roughed by PPB, Wheeler to investigate

2020 Protests

Portland Tribune's Zane Sparling rushed by PPB

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler promised to investigate accusations that local journalists were attacked by police during protests.

Reporter Zane Sparling with the Portland Tribune has video showing officers rushing him in the early hours of Saturday. Sparling yelled “Media!” but said the officer said, “I don’t give (blank)” and then shoved him into a wall.

Sparling said he was also hit in the heel by some sort of crowd control munition.

“We’re in the midst of a city and nationwide conversation about police. In order for us as the general public to make crucial decisions, evaluate the decisions of our political leaders, we need to have access to critical information about these protests, including police use of force,” Sparling told KOIN 6 News. “And the only way the public is going to have access to that information is if there are journalists out covering these protests.”

A reporter at the Oregonian said she was slammed by a baton during the same protest.

In a Monday afternoon tweet, Wheeler said, “This is extremely concerning. Journalists need to be able to cover the protests safely. I know Portland police works hard to protect the rights of our press but there are alarming incidents that need to be addressed.”

Wheeler said he would look into each complaint sent to his office.

The Portland Tribune is a KOIN 6 News media partner

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