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U.S. | Police State and Prisons

29 arrested in Olympia, WA police abuse demo
by Olympian repost
Friday Apr 9th, 2010 7:35 AM
OLYMPIA – Olympia police arrested 29 people in downtown Olympia Thursday night who were "engaged in riotous behavior," according to a press release.
The Olympia police arrested 29 people in downtown Olympia Thursday night who were "engaged in riotous behavior," according to a press release. The crowd first assembled in a parking lot at 2100 Harrison Ave. around 7:30 p.m. and headed east towards downtown Olympia, blocking one lane of the road. The arrests occurred around 9 p.m.

Members of the group were dressed in black clothing and concealed their identities with face coverings. Prior to the arrests, Olympia police received reports of vandalism to businesses committed by members of the group as they walked downtown on 4th Ave; blocking all lanes. Police are also investigating the assault of Olympia staff photographer Tony Overman allegedly committed by some of the protesters. Officers also saw group members breaking windows to a business located in the area of Jefferson Street and 4th Ave, the release said.

Two participants were arrested for assaulting a police officer, one for punching an officer in the face and the other for kicking an officer in the groin, said. Olympia Police Cmdr. Tor Bjornstad. Most of the participants were pretty young, he said.

Olympia PD had heard of the plan to march beforehand and were prepared for it, Bjornstad said. Similar events had occurred recently in Portland, he said.

This was kind of a (west) coastal call out,” Bjornstad said.

If the protesters had not started spray painting and breaking windows the police would not have arrested them, Bjornstad said.

“We would have let them wander around downtown all night, if they had wanted to,” he said. “We typically hang back in situations like these.”

All participants were taken into custody in the area of State Ave. and Adams St. and transported to the Olympia city jail for booking.

The investigation into this matter is still ongoing, according to the press release and the identities of the arrested participants are still being determined.