Weekend protests were part of the continuing reaction to the May 21 shooting of two black men by a white police officer.
The recent shooting of two black men in west Olympia continues to galvanize the community in different ways, including violent and peaceful forms of protest.
The weekend provided examples of both.
It all began Saturday night when 150 protesters, some wearing masks, marched through downtown to counterprotest a planned gathering of white supremacists, an Olympia Police Department spokeswoman said Sunday.
Some vehicle windows were broken and car tires were slashed. A man was stabbed in the arm about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, although that incident was thought to be unrelated to the protest, police spokeswoman Laura Wohl said.
Most Read Local Stories
- Dump truck crashes into Subway sandwich shop in Seattle's Pioneer Square, 5 injured VIEW
- In blue Seattle, Trump supporters are starting to come out of hiding | Danny Westneat
- Scorned customer throws sign through window at Beth's Cafe in Seattle
- No new bottom line in Everett’s bikini barista brouhaha
- Parking garage in Seattle’s Pioneer Square named ‘coolest’ place to park in the nation
Police are still looking for the stabbing suspect. The victim was first taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital and then Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, she said.
The injury was serious enough that a police officer applied a tourniquet, she said.
The Olympian is mentioning the stabbing because there is confusion about what happened and what did not happen Saturday night.
Several protests have followed the police shooting May 21 in which Olympia Officer Ryan Donald wounded Andre Thompson, 24, and Bryson Chaplin, 21. The two men are suspected of attempting to steal beer from the Safeway on Olympia’s west side. They were shot nearby in a confrontation on Cooper Point Road.
On Saturday night, the white supremacists weren’t at Percival Landing as expected, so the protest continued down Fourth Avenue.
Eventually the protesters encountered the white supremacists in the area of Fourth Avenue and Adams Street, Wohl said.
That’s when things turned ugly, said a witness, Rob Smith, of Olympia.
He described the clash as an “outright brawl,” in which the white supremacists fled while some protesters gave chase, including picking up metal chairs from a restaurant, then flinging them at trucks occupied by the white supremacists, causing extensive damage.
Another caller to The Olympian, who declined to give his name, said the white-supremacist group is called “volksfront,” and was there to show support for Olympia police.
Katie Delgado, of Olympia, said some protesters, whom she described as anarchists, carried baseball bats, as did some white supremacists.
Police blocked streets and directed traffic, but did not engage the protesters, she said.
Smith said that a man allegedly emerged drunkenly from a bar and confronted the protesters, punching a protester in a wheelchair and bloodying his nose.
“Why be there if you’re not going to do anything?” Smith commented.
The white supremacists eventually left, while the protesters continued to march until about 1:30 a.m.
No arrests were made during the protest, Wohl said.
A different kind of gathering took place Sunday.
On Sunday about 30 people gathered peacefully at Sylvester Park to talk about how they, as Caucasians, can better assist the Black Lives Matter movement, black leadership and people of color, said Socket Klatzker, 38, an organizer, as well as a mental-health counselor.
Vered Serotta, 18, a student at The Evergreen State College, said she wanted to learn about being a “white ally” to support people of color.
“This is a difficult time,” she said.