Hundreds in Olympia Protest Shooting of Two Unarmed Black Males; Cops Keep a Low Profile

Protesters at Woodruff Park in Olympia.
Protesters at Woodruff Park in Olympia. Charles Mudede

A large crowd of people (yes, mostly students but also remarkably diverse), gathered at 6 p.m. this evening, at Woodruff Park, to protest the shooting of two black males by a white police officer, Ryan Donald. The incident happened last night, after Andre Thompson, 24, and his stepbrother, Bryson Chaplin, 21, allegedly attempted to steal beer from a Safeway. The officer's story, as relayed by the Olympia police department, is basically this: He spotted the suspects, he confronted them, he was attacked, he shot one, both fled into the woods, and, after a moment, returned for more. He shot the other at that point.

The general opinion of those speaking out at the park, and later the police station, where the protesters marched to at around 8 pm, was that the shooting had everything to do with race. Many of the people I talked to were just appalled that so much force was used on such a petty crime; many, both black and white, felt it was the same old, same old. Some, like Talib, a black American originally from New Jersey, thought the whole thing would be forgotten by the morning. "There have been protests about this and no one showed up," he said. "But now it's in your town, people show up. You have to care about this shit all the time. Not only when it's on your town."

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Protest Against Olympia Police Shooting Is Planned For 6 PM This Evening

These flyers are everywhere in Olympia, according to one Evergreen College student.
These flyers are "everywhere" in Olympia, according to one Evergreen College student. Allana Cummings

Reached by phone, an Evergreen College student said these flyers, for a 6 p.m. protest at Woodruff Park, are "everywhere."

Charles has described what happened: An Olympia police officer shot two unarmed black men early this morning who were "suspected of stealing beer."

The police chief, in a press conference today, said one of the men assaulted the officer. He also said he believes race was not a factor in the incident. One of the men—they're stepbrothers—is in critical condition in the hospital. NBC News has the latest, including audio of the officer's communications with a dispatcher. The officer, who is white, "was put on administrative leave pending an internal investigation and a separate probe by the Critical Incident Team, a cooperative of investigators from five local law enforcement agencies under supervision of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office."

The results of those investigations will be turned over to Thurston County prosecuting attorney Jon Tunheim. Tunheim said under state law, "If we were to determine that an officer's use of force did not meet a reasonableness standard, but the officer was acting in good faith and without malice... the statute would prevent us from filing a criminal charge."

We'll have more, from Olympia, later on Slog. Here in Seattle, meanwhile:

Today is a National Day of Action to protest police killings of black women.

Savage Love: Car Talk


Yesterday, I found my 5-year-old son putting things up his butt in the bath. This isn't the first time—and it's not just a "Hey! There's a hole here! Let's put things in there!" kind of thing. The little dude was rocking quite the stiffy while he did it. I'm well aware of how sexual kids can be (I freaking was!), although I wasn't quite expecting to be catching him exploring anal at this young age. I want to avoid a trip to the emergency room to extract a toy car or whatever else from his rear end, and I don't want to see him damage himself…

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Bartender Crush: Michal at Queen City Grill

Brooklyn Benjestorf

Name: Michal

Where: Queen City Grill

Buy Him A Shot Of: Cheap tequila.

Ask Him To Make You A: "Patronessy, mulled wine in the winter and sangria in the summer, or whatever makes you happy," Michal says.

What He's Doing When He's Not At The Bar: "I have a small catering company called Gola's Kitchen and when I'm not preparing food for events, I'm usually camping."

Words To Live By: "Everything I like is immoral, illegal, or fattening."

The Sacrifice Is a Film About the End of the World

Clumsy expectations and misunderstandings smashing into reality.
Clumsy expectations and misunderstandings smashing into reality.

It helps, when watching the stunning catharsis of The Sacrifice, to know that the director Andrei Tarkovsky made it while in exile from the Soviet Union—and was dying, but didn't realize it yet. The film feels like a final gesture, trembling in the gap between the immediate and the cosmic. Whatever Tarkovsky's balletically long shots are watching—an old man and his son on the seaside, or a wife slowly clacking her way across a wood floor with barely concealed scorn, or a servant trembling at the certainty that they're all about to die in a nuclear holocaust—they radiate both grandiosity and humility, mourning and loving…

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Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano Sings into the Chasm Between Electronic Dance and Down-Tempo Trance

None shall pass! Yukimi Nagano protects her bandmates.
None shall pass! Yukimi Nagano protects her bandmates. MARCO VAN RIJT

Those venturing to the bluffs of the Gorge for Sasquatch! in time for Little Dragon's set on Friday night will find the Swedish four-piece patrolling the borderline between electronic dance and down-tempo trance-jams. To one side are fiery lakes of club bass and tightly kicked beats. To the other, the placid Sea of Sade (pronounced shar-day), where glacial funk floats in smooth waves of R&B. Little Dragon's fourth full-length, Nabuma Rubberband, was nominated for a Grammy in the best dance/electronic album category this year. Vocalist Yukimi Nagano is a cosmic siren…

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SL Letter of the Day: Send the Flowers

Originally posted on October 16, 2013.

I'm a gay man in a happy and open marriage. I routinely seek the services of an erotic masseur, a man with whom I have a great client/service-provider relationship. I found out when booking my next massage with him that he was recently in a car accident with his long-term partner, who died in the hospital. Normally, I'd send flowers and a card. However, due to the nature of our working relationship, I don't want to extend myself in ways that could be uncomfortable for him. I wouldn't want to put him in the position of having to explain who I am if the card I sent was read by someone else. Any advice would be appreciated.

Wants To Be Respectful

My response after the jump...

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Dear Sasquatch!: No, You’re Not High, the Bassist from Bear on Fire Really Is Christopher Mintz-Plasse from Superbad

Bear on Fire play the Sasquatch! Yeti Stage on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Bear on Fire play the Sasquatch! Yeti Stage on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Attention Sasquatch!-goers: Bear on Fire are a Los Angeles–based sextet whose alt-blues hints at golden-era ’70s melodic rock. They just released their debut album, Velicata Back. They are playing Saturday, May 23, at 1 p.m. on the Yeti Stage. If you arrive (or wake up) in time to catch their set, you may recognize Bear on Fire’s bassist and not fully understand why. This is why: He is Christopher Mintz-Plasse (you can call him Chris), the actor who played McLovin in the movie Superbad. In fairness, he has played other roles, as well. He spoke from his home in Los Angeles.

Have you listened to much Christopher Cross? It’s pure 1970s glory. I think you guys could cover the shit out of his song “Sailing.”

I’ve heard of him, oh yeah. I’ll see what the band thinks. I know “Sailing.” [He sings the chorus. I join him. We sing “Sailing” together.]…

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Seattle Police Chief Balks at Call for Federal Intervention on Protest Policing

Chief OToole says she is all about building community trust in the police department.
Chief O'Toole says she is all about building community trust in the police department. But she's not embracing a call for a federally-mediated dialogue between the police and #BlackLivesMatter protesters. SPD

Police chief Kathleen O'Toole is rejecting a unanimous call from city's Community Police Commissioners for the Department of Justice to mediate a series of forums on how the department has treated Black Lives Matter protesters.

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Protest Barge Gets 72-Hour Warning From Harbor Patrol, Damage to Dive Park Is Assessed

The Solar Pioneer protest barge, which dropped concrete blocks onto a popular local diving site without clearing it with divers first.
The Solar Pioneer protest barge, which is protesting Shell Oil's Polar Pioneer in Elliott Bay. It turns out the barge moored over a popular local diving park without clearing it with the divers first. Courtesy of Kelly Mears

On Wednesday, the Solar Pioneer—the Polar Pioneer protest barge floating in Elliott Bay—got a call from the Seattle Police Department. According to barge operator John Sellers, a Harbor Patrol sergeant told him that the barge's moorage permit from Saturday had expired, and Sellers' crew could see an enforcement action in 72 hours.

"There's no ultimatum," SPD spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb clarified. "This is just a 'You might be cited if this hasn't been moved in three days.' This was not a guarantee of enforcement."

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Listen Here: New Destroyer Album and Single "Dream Lover"

Destroyer's back after a four year absence.
Destroyer's back after a four year absence.

Dan Bejar is back! And he's got horns, horns, horns.

This morning, Destroyer announced their new album Poison Season will be released on August 28 via Merge. The follow-up to 2011's critically acclaimed Kaputt also has a new single titled "Dream Lover."

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Vanessa Place Is in a Fight Over Gone with the Wind's Racism, But It’s Not the Fight She Says She Wants: An Interview

Sorry not sorry?
For years, literary provocateur Vanessa Place has been tweeting text and images from Gone with the Wind. Earlier this week, she was fired from a committee selecting authors for a 2016 writing conference. Patrick Greaney

Is this Twitter feed racist? Is it racist but good art? Is it racist but bad art? Under what circumstances can a white writer use racist language and imagery to denounce racism? Who gets to decide? Why?

These are the questions that have been banging around in the heads of writers around the world for the past week. (These are also questions Place has provoked before.)

In case you haven't been paying attention: For several years, conceptual poet and defense attorney Vanessa Place has been retyping, word for word, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. She uses as her Twitter profile pic a photo of Academy Award-winner Hattie McDaniel, who played “Mammy” in Victor Fleming’s film adaptation of the novel. For Place’s background image, she uses a cropped illustration of a black woman from the cover of a piece of sheet music called “Jemima’s Wedding Day”—an image widely regarded as offensive. Even Place would agree that it's offensive.

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Leaked E-mail: What a King County Superior Court Judge Really Thinks About Raising the Cost of Traffic Ticket Fines

A $12 increase in a traffic fine may not seem like much, but when a local judge added up all of the additional fines, he showed how the system can take hours off poor peoples lives.
A $12 increase in a traffic fine may not seem like much, but when a local judge added up all of the additional fines and demonstrated how a person gets processed through the system, he showed how courts disproportionately demand hours and money from poor people. Ernest R. Prim/Shutterstock

Earlier this week, the Washington State Supreme Court ordered a $12 increase in the maximum fine for most traffic violations. They did this despite being warned that such a policy would have a disproportionate effect on poor people and people of color.

Here's why that'll happen:

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Two Unarmed Black Men Suspected of Stealing Beer Shot by Police Officer in Olympia

The Olympian reports that last night, around 1 a.m., two black men, who allegedly attempted to steal beer from an Olympia Safeway, were spotted, confronted, and then shot by a police officer. The men are in their 20s and reportedly are brothers. Both are in the hospital, with one in stable condition and the other in critical condition. Both were, according to a press conference with Olympia's police chief Ronnie Roberts, unarmed and shot by a white police officer, 35-year-old Ryan Donald, after fleeing the scene without the beer. The Olympia Police Department does not use body cameras.

Though at this moment there is still very little information about the incident, one unconfirmed report says the officer might have been assaulted with a skateboard.

Michael Brown, a young black male who was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, late last spring, was also suspected of shoplifting from a store, which brought about the interaction with the cop who killed him. Brown would have celebrated his 19th birthday yesterday.

The protest tonight is at Woodruff Park.
The protest tonight is at Woodruff Park. Olympia, Washington / Shutterstock

UPDATE: A protest is scheduled in Olympia, starting at 6 pm. Check Slog for further updates from the protest.

The Rules Regulating Restaurant Service Charges Are Confusing and Seattle Is Ill-Equipped to Enforce Them


Since Seattle's new minimum-wage law took effect on April 1, restaurant owners have looked at various ways to accommodate higher compensation for their employees—for example, Ivar's Salmon House raised prices and eliminated tips. A month later, Renee Erickson eliminated tips at her three restaurants in favor of an 18.5 percent service charge. And in a recent article on Eater Seattle, several restaurant owners in the city said they think others will be following Erickson's lead and opting for service charges in the coming months…

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