The Olympia Police Department arrested nine people on May 1 after protesters broke windows, fought with onlookers and threw rocks in downtown Olympia.
But, nearly seven months later, none of those nine suspects has been charged.
“The problem is identification,” said Jeffery Lippert, Thurston County’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor. “People had disguised themselves using masks and goggles.
“I’m not sure if our when they will be charged at this point.”
The Olympia Police Department’s investigation of the incident has been completed and referred to the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office for charging. The suspects weren’t immediately charged because, although there is video footage of the protest, many of the protesters’ faces weren’t identifiable, Lippert explained.
The nine suspects appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese on May 2. Despite the objections of a public defender, Lanese found probable cause to charge each of the suspects with one count of first-degree malicious mischief.
Because the people weren’t charged within 72 hours of appearing in court, they were released without having to post bail.
All of the suspects reported living in Olympia or Thurston County, and were aged between 21 and 34.
The Olympia Police Department reported that the protest caused about $50,000 in damage downtown. To Olympia police officers were hit by rocks and sustained minor injuries.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.