Crime

Downtown Olympia streets quiet after night of protests

One day after hundreds gathered in downtown Olympia to protest the police shooting of two shoplifting suspects, the streets were quiet.

A plan to march to the officer’s house Friday evening was proposed by a self-described anarchist group on Facebook, but was canceled after other groups objected.

A small group of people, less than a dozen, gathered in a parking lot near the officer’s home, and said they planned to stop protesters, if they showed up.

KayVin Hill, 27, said he participated in the downtown march on Thursday night, but he disagreed with the idea of protesting the officer’s home.

“We don’t condone that at all,” he said. “If they had shown up, we would have tried to talk to them.”

Hill said he thinks the police department needs reform, but he felt the planned protest was crossing a line.

“This is not about them,” he said of the anarchists.

Sunday Williams, manager of the tattoo parlor across the street from City Hall, said it was business as usual Friday for Spidermonkey Tattoos. The shop had a steady flow of customers — despite a broken front window.

Williams said two panes of glass were broken sometime Thursday night, causing about $1,000 in damage. But that’s not too unusual, she said.

“We’ve been downtown for about 15 years,” Williams said. “So of course we’ve had a few broken windows.”

Repairs are scheduled for next week.

Meanwhile, brothers Bryson Chaplin and Andre Thompson are in separate hospitals recovering from gunshot wounds after being shot by Olympia Officer Ryan Donald about 1:15 a.m. Thursday after allegedly throwing beer at employees of a Safeway who confronted them about shoplifting.

Thompson was in serious condition at Tacoma General Hospital. Chaplin was initially transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital, but he was taken to Harborview Medical Center about 5:30 p.m. Thursday. He was also in serious condition.

The shooting prompted both the march and a civic meeting.

Olympia police think Spidermonkey’s window was broken at about 11:15 p.m. Thursday, when a second wave of protesters gathered in downtown Olympia. Lt. Paul Lower said the first group of about 400 protesters, who marched from Woodruff Park to City Hall, cleared the scene about 10 p.m.

About an hour later, a second group arrived. Many of these demonstrators wore dark clothing and donned masks.

Several conflicts erupted in the crowd. Two people were arrested for fighting in public and taken to the Olympia City Jail, Lower said.

The group made its way toward City Hall and began arguing with a group of pro-police demonstrators. The first group surrounded the pro-police demonstrators and began assaulting them. Police intervened, and protesters began throwing rocks.

Lower said assault suspects couldn’t be identified, and no arrests were made.

The shooting and the alleged theft that preceded it are being investigated by the Thurston County Critical Incident Team, a group of five local law enforcement agencies. The investigation is headed by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, and detectives from the Lacey Police Department, the Washington State Patrol and the Tumwater Police department are also participating.

The Olympia Police Department is also part of the Critical Incident Team, but Olympia detectives won’t aid in the investigation since Chaplin and Thompson were shot by an Olympia officer.

Chief Deputy Brad Watkins of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation could take three to six weeks. The findings will then be forwarded to the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Jon Tunheim said it’s too early to tell what charges Donald, Chaplin and Thompson could face.

“Potentially (Thompson and Chaplin) are both suspects and victims,” Tunheim said. “We won’t know for sure until we see how the investigation goes.”

Police had taken steps to ensure Donald’s safety, and he was not in his home on Friday, according to Olympia police.

The Seattle Times reported that according to court records, Andre Thompson’s criminal history includes guilty pleas in Clark County District Court to supplying liquor to a minor, minor in possession of alcohol and bail jumping in 2012.

In another case the same year, he pleaded guilty in Clark County to obstructing a law-enforcement officer while a third-degree theft charge was dismissed.

In 2013, he was cited in Tumwater, for operating a motor vehicle without a valid license and having no valid operator license. In April, he was ticketed in Lewis County for failure to wear a safety belt.

Bryson Chaplin’s criminal history includes a 2012 guilty plea in Clark County Superior Court to taking a motor vehicle without permission, according to court records.

He also has an extensive juvenile-court record in Clark County, including guilty pleas for second-degree robbery, taking a motor vehicle without permission, theft and assault, according to the Times.

Staff writer Lisa Pemberton contributed to this report.

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