Men found guilty of assaulting Olympia police officer

Two men were found guilty of assaulting an Olympia police officer who shot and wounded them during a late night 2015 encounter in the state capital.

A Thurston County jury on Thursday found Bryson Chaplin and Andre Thompson guilty of a lesser third-degree assault charge. The judge ruled a mistrial for the second degree assault charge.

A spokesperson for the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said the office will not make an immediate decision about a re-trial for the assault charge, but will take time to consider their options.

The shooting set off a series of “Black Lives Matter” protests in Olympia. The half-brothers are black, and the officer is white.

Olympia police officer Ryan Donald said Chaplin and Thompson assaulted him in May 2015, prompting him to shoot the two men.

Donald testified the men matched the description of two suspects who had tried to steal beer at Safeway. He said the men refused to obey his commands before they started coming at him. Chaplin raised a skateboard, and Donald testified he feared Chaplin would use the skateboard as a weapon, so he opened fire.

The two men survived the shooting, but Chaplin remains partially paralyzed.

Neither of the boys testified during the six week-long trial.

Chaplin’s attorney said he was “very disappointed” with the assault charge.

“I have never seen a police officer testify so falsely on so many issues in any courtroom anywhere,” attorney George Trejo said in a statement. “Moreover, as the defense expert testified, the evidence simply did not support Officer Donald’s story.”

Donald was cleared of wrong-doing.

The Associated Press, Drew Mikkelsen, and Allison Sundell contributed.

© 2017 KING-TV


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