Northwest News

Protesters block downtown Olympia streets Wednesday night

A group of about 30 protesters gathered in downtown Olympia on Wednesday night in response to the May 21 police shooting of two suspects on Cooper Point Road.

As of 9:30 p.m., the protests were peaceful and no arrests had been made.

The group gathered at about 8:20 p.m. and blocked the streets at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Jefferson Street. The protesters walked down Fourth Avenue to Olympia City Hall, and later turned and walked toward Capitol Way.

They stood in the street at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Capitol Way for about 10 minutes, then turned and walked back to City Hall. By that time, the number of protesters had dwindled to about 20 people.

Six Olympia police officers followed them, redirecting traffic.

While walking, protesters shouted, “Whose streets? Our streets,” “Black lives matter,” “No justice, no peace, no racist police,” and “We want indictment but these killer cops won’t like it.”

Wednesday night’s protest is one of several since Olympia Officer Ryan Donald shot and wounded Andre Thompson, 24, and Bryson Chaplin, 21. The two men are suspected of stealing beer from an Olympia Safeway. They were shot during a confrontation on Cooper Point Road.

A Tuesday night Olympia City Council meeting drew about 100 protesters and 34 people who addressed the council. All but one of the speakers expressed concern regarding the shooting and the way law enforcement is handling the investigation.

Protesters gathered again at about 11 p.m. Tuesday, and Olympia Lt. Paul Lower said they appeared to be part of three different groups: those protesting the May 21 shooting, people showing their support for local police, and people carrying flags representing a known white supremacist group.

Lower said that although the groups argued, there were no physical altercations and no arrests were made.

“When we see groups oppose each other like that, we do pay attention,” Lower said.