We are aware of reports that members of the Proud Boys group are expected to take part in demonstrations in our community this weekend. The Olympia Police Department (OPD) is monitoring two Saturday, September 18, events.
At Noon, a rally is planned on the Capitol Campus, which we believe is associated with vaccine mandates. At 2 p.m. a gathering is planned in front of Olympia City Hall in response to the shooting on September 4 at the Intercity Transit Center, when members of the Proud Boys and a group allied with Antifa engaged in a violent confrontation with each other.
OPD is bringing on extra staff and actively making preparations for managing any potential conflict that might arise during these demonstrations. OPD is also working with our regional law enforcement partners in our planning. We thank them for their help and support.
OPD has attempted to open lines of communication with each of the groups to ask them to avoid our City and avoid each other on Saturday. While we cannot prevent people from groups like these from coming to our city, OPD will do everything they can to address as quickly as possible any illegal acts and violent behaviors that may happen and to try to keep opposing groups separated from each other.
As the Capital City, we have a particular duty to support the rights of individuals to peacefully gather and exercise their first amendment rights. However, OPD must balance protecting all people’s constitutional rights with the need to protect the safety of our community. And in doing so, OPD will follow its Guiding Principles for Demonstrations and Crowd Control.
We share the community’s shock and anger at the violence that happened here on September 4. None of us want this type of behavior in our community. We are taking the lessons learned from that weekend to inform our practices and processes for this weekend in an effort to ensure an effective strategy to address any safety issues.
We continue to ask the community’s help in our ongoing investigation of the shooting and reported assaults from September 4. We also continue to gather any information about the planned events on September 18. If you have information, please can Police Dispatch at 360-704-2740 or crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.