OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Hours after investigators interviewed the Olympia police officer who wounded two men suspected of trying to steal beer, about 100 people demonstrated Tuesday evening outside the Olympia City Hall in response to the recent shooting.
Some held signs and banners with messages such as “Black lives matter” and “Black youth is not disposable,” while other demonstrators supported police.
The officer reported he was being assaulted with a skateboard before the May 21 shooting that injured 21-year-old Bryson Chaplin, and 24-year-old Andre Thompson. The two half-brothers are black; the officer is white.
Demonstrator Gary Clover openly showed support for Olympia police and said the officer seemed to do the right thing considering the situation, The Olympian reported (http://is.gd/c6TG6C). “I believe the police are doing their job and need to defend themselves,” he said.
As Clover stood in front of City Hall, a woman stood next to him holding a sign with an arrow that pointed to Clover. It read: “This is what white supremacy looks like.”
Many who showed up wanted to speak at the Tuesday evening City Council meeting and the council expanded its public comment period to allow them to do so. Speakers expressed concerns about the shooting and about “bullets flying” in their neighborhood.
City Police Chief Ronnie Roberts spoke, outlining a time line for the shooting investigation.
The officer, Ryan Donald, was interviewed Tuesday, Thurston County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Brad Watkins said earlier, adding a final report into the shooting is weeks away. The sheriff’s office is leading the investigation with other law enforcement agencies.
Detectives interviewed Thompson last week. Watkins said they would like to interview Chaplin but his family has hired a lawyer and it wasn’t clear whether Chaplin would provide a statement.
The investigation is in its final stages but it could take a few weeks for evidence to be tested by the state crime lab, Watkins said. A final report will be sent to the Thurston County prosecutor for review and potential charges.
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