Demonstrations in Olympia Last Night

City of Olympia
Date of Release: May 22, 2015

Paul Lower
Public Information Officer

Demonstrations in Olympia Last Night

Demonstrations Largely Peaceful - Some Groups in Conflict Later in the Evening

At about 6pm last night, a crowd of 350-500 demonstrators marched from Olympia’s Westside to City Hall in the downtown area. While some traffic was briefly disrupted, the event was peaceful with no violence or property damage. Many voices were heard and sentiments expressed regarding the recent police-involved shooting.

Later that night, at about 11:15pm, a group of approximately 40-50 demonstrators, who were not related to the earlier event, gathered in downtown Olympia for a pre-planned demonstration. The group was dressed in dark clothing and some had donned masks. The group walked throughout the downtown area, against traffic, chanting anti-police slogans. At several taverns along their route, bar patrons came into conflict with the demonstrators and some conflicts erupted into fist-fights. Police were called and dispersed those who were fighting. Overall, two people were arrested for Combat in Public. After having confrontations with bar patrons, the demonstrators continued to City Hall where a small number of pro-police demonstrators were located. Two of the pro-police demonstrators were surrounded by the first group of demonstrators and assaulted. Police intervened and the crowd began to throw large rocks at the officers and at the City Hall building. Officers used “flash-bang” concussion instruments to disperse the crowd. Flash-bangs create a bright light and a loud sound. The crowd voluntarily broke up and left the area. No one was arrested for the assaults as the suspects could not be identified in the crowd. No officers were injured and no property damage occurred at City Hall. This morning, downtown business owners did report minor property damage that occurred overnight.