One Shot During Olympia Protest, Four Cops Injured
Olympia, WA – On Saturday, a one man was shot during a “Back the Blue” and “Stop the Steal” protest that turned violent at Washington’s Capitol when counter protestors (Antifa) showed up to the scene.
It’s been reported that over 100 officers arrived at the Capitol when the initial squabbles took place. During the initial confrontation between the groups, police made an arrest for an alleged weapons violation near Ninth Avenue and Columbia Street. It’s been reported that that person arrested was a Proud Boy who pointed a gun at a counter protestor.
First fight breaks out between Back the blue / stop the steal protesters and Portland / Washington counter-protesters. Olympia Police are standing by. Unlawful assembly declared. #Portland #Antifa #washington #fight pic.twitter.com/VCbFxVZePP
— Independent Media PDX (@NDpendentPDX) December 12, 2020
Due to multiple incidents of fighting between the groups, police declared a riot and issued a dispersal order from the Capitol. The group moved to a different area, closer to Sid Snyder Avenue.
Two other arrests were made near Union Avenue and Capitol Way, this time for felony assault, where authorities said two officers were injured after objects were thrown at them (one was hit with a “large piece of concrete” and one was hit with what police described as a “baton like object”).
While details are scarce on the shooting that occurred, according the the Thurston County Corrections Facility roster, Forest Michael Machala was arrested for first degree assault and is being held there without bail. It’s unknown if he was the person arrested for pointing his firearm or for actually shooting. Independent Media PDX, who has been covering the riots in Portland and beyond for months, said Machala is a Project Specialist with Public Assistance at AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps.
It’s also been reported that Machala is a member of the Proud Boys, but LENN has not independently confirmed that.
The shooting appeared to take place when a group of protestors were walking to their cars in a parking lot. It appeared as if member of Antifa were following them, but the exact situation has not been disclosed.
The victim, a “counter protestor,” is said to be in stable condition. His identity has not been released.
It’s unknown what led up to that specific encounter, but multiple protestors were injured by Antifa, as well as two more officers other than the two mentioned above.
Police were seen hogtying the Machala in the middle of the street. Antifa members were reportedly tear gassed and “briefly kettled” by police before being set free.
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) December 12, 2020
The “Back the Blue” supporters were enraged by both the arrest and the treatment of the suspect and began shouting “Let him go! Fuck you!”
As the protestors started to leave, one man can be heard saying, “Fucking cops ain’t doing shit. Let’s go boys.”