Olympia police prepare for possible weekend protests downtown
The Olympia Police Department says it will increase staffing this weekend to be ready for members of the Proud Boys who say they’re planning to come back downtown Saturday, Sept. 18.
“These groups are unpredictable — sometimes they show up in numbers, sometimes they don’t show up at all. But we’re going to have extra staff on duty,” Police Chief Aaron Jelcick said.
A member of the Proud Boys group was shot in the foot earlier this month, on Sept. 4, during a fight at a vaccine mandate protest in Olympia.
There’s a video of the shooting posted on the police department’s social media in an effort to find out more about the shooting suspect, who is described by police as an Antifa member.
Jelcick says he’s not sure if the Proud Boys want to come back this weekend to retaliate for the shooting.
“I don’t know their motives at this point. Both these groups have a history of engaging one another in different places throughout the Pacific Northwest,” Jelcick said.
Chief Jelcick says he hopes to name a suspect in the shooting within the next week.
As for this weekend, Chief Jelcick told KIRO Radio he will keep the public informed. But right now, he says residents do not need to plan for any extra precautions. There will be more officers on patrol.
“Your police force is going to be out in increased numbers, and we’ve got a plan to address behaviors. So I would enjoy your Saturday and go about business as usual,” he said.
“We’re going to give [the protest groups] a very clear message that based on their past behaviors that, you know what, that’s not welcome,” he added. “If you violate the law and you engage in those behaviors, we’re going to take enforcement action.”