Watch Now: Sergio Olmos

A crowd surges to the glass doors of the Multnomah County Justice Center and pauses—then someone begins smashing the glass. Looters laugh in Pioneer Place as they realize they've made it to the racks of Louis Vuitton. Police officers chuck tear gas at protesters from the back of a moving truck, then speed away.

Sergio Olmos was there. Because of him, thousands of people across Oregon felt like they were, too.

Olmos is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Underscore, Crosscut, WW and the Portland Tribune. He's covered Portland's street protests and brawls for years.

So when protests of the police killing of George Floyd emerged in Portland last week, Olmos was ready, equipped with video equipment and a honed instinct for where conflict would ensue. Here's what he shot June 2:

For five consecutive nights, he's been at the front lines where police and protesters face off. If he's lucky, he gets four hours of sleep a night.

He talks to WW news editor Aaron Mesh about what the mood is like in a group of people looting a store, why it's hard to tell what police officers are thinking, and the hardest part of being a freelancer covering riots.

“It was like being under surveillance in my apartment for five hours.”
Each movie is full of strange, striking images and strays far from Hollywood's readymade narrative structures and tidy resolutions—and none of them are on major streaming services.
His ranks are growing during the pandemic.
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They were as precious to him as personal protective equipment was for nurses.
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Josh Lehner's forecast went out 10 years, predicting there would be 34,000 fewer Oregonians because of the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic.
In mid-March, it was hard to imagine the coronavirus could disrupt an event six months down the line. But Baio couldn’t afford to wait and see.
He underestimated the appeal of Mingus Mapps, the political newcomer who sped past former Mayor Sam Adams to make a runoff against Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
She authored an historically bleak jobs report.
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She also found a wall where she can practice her shot.
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Julia Niiro is on a mission to save family farms.
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Kate Sokoloff knows she has it good, while others have it very bad.
Most of her life, McKenna Dempsey has battled depression, anxiety and severe mood instability. A single conversation changed her understanding of herself—and she wants to use tech to impart that idea to teenagers.
Peter Graven built a model to see what would happen if the state took no social distancing precautions.
His analysis flies in the face of high-profile protests demanding a quick return to normal.
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“I can’t think of what can be more essential and timely than accessing an abortion.”
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Of course, we couldn’t interview him and not have him read us a story.
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As the godfather of Portland’s startup scene, Rick Turoczy says many of the companies at his incubator are still figuring out what COVID-19 means for them.
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Quarantine gave him time to ponder what common household items could be converted into facial protection without any cutting or sewing.
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