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Police Release 911 Call, Video From Shoplifting That Preceded Officer Shooting

Thurston County Sheriff's office
A still frame of Safeway surveillance video shows a suspect throwing a shoplifted case of beer at a store employee. A short while later this man and his half-brother were shot by an Olympia police officer.

Police released surveillance video and the 911 call Friday from a shoplifting that preceded a police shooting in Olympia, Washington.

In that shooting a white officer shot two African-American men who had skateboards and no guns.

The surveillance video shows a man walking out of a Safeway store in west Olympia with a skateboard tucked under his arm and a case of Corona beer in his hands. When a store employee tries to stop him, he throws the beer at her. The glass bottles crash to the ground and the man bolts out of the store.

The store employee immediately called 911.

He stole a beer earlier and he tried to do it again, he threw the beer at me and hit my hand,” the employee said.

The employee told the dispatcher there were two men, both African-American with skateboards. At one point she said she couldn’t see them anymore, but she could hear them taunting her.

“They’re still by the gas station because they just called me a name,” the employee said.

By the time officers arrive, the men were gone. A short time later officer Ryan Donald encounters two black men with skateboards about a half-mile away. That encounter ends with Donald shooting both of them after he said one of them assaulted him with a skateboard.

Olympia police said the two men who were shot have been identified as the same men who appear in the Safeway surveillance video. Police have identified the men as half-brothers Andre Thompson, 24 and Bryson Chaplin 21 of Olympia.

On Friday, Chaplin was upgraded from critical to serious condition and is in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Police said Thursday that Thompson was in serious, but stable condition.

Thursday night brought a large protest that marched through the streets of downtown Olympia. Police estimated the crowd at 350 to 500. Participants, many from The Evergreen State College, blocked traffic and chanted. But the event was non-violent and brought no arrests.

Later in the evening, a smaller crowd also marched through downtown. Police say some of the participants wore masks and chanted anti-police slogans. Some participants scuffled with bar patrons resulting in two arrests for combat in public.

At Olympia City Hall marchers encountered a group of pro-police demonstrators who were then surrounded and assaulted, according to a City of Olympia news release. When officers intervened, the release said some in the crowd started to throw rocks at officers. Police responded with “flash-bang” grenades to disperse the crowd. No arrests were made after that altercation.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."