OLYMPIA, Wash. — About 40 people involved in a protest that ended with lit torches being thrown at a west Olympia police car and station were demonstrating against police violence and a resident's recent shooting death, participants say.
The demonstration was spurred partly by the death of Jose Ramirez-Jimenez of Olympia, who was shot and killed after a police chase in November in Lacey, participant Jeff Berryhill of Olympia said Saturday.
Some demonstrators held road flares, torches and signs; others played banjo and guitar. After gathering about 10:40 p.m. Friday and circling through downtown a couple of times, protesters made their way across the Fourth Avenue Bridge and up the Harrison Avenue hill, Berryhill said. The group was followed by Olympia police and was met by more officers at Thomas Street and Harrison Avenue, diverting them down Perry Street toward a police substation, he said.
Police say protesters then threw lit torches against the station wall and a police car, which were quickly extinguished. The stick torches had cans attached to them that were filled with a flammable fluid, Sgt. Paul Johnson said. Also collected at the scene were 14 signs, some of which said "Liar liar cops on fire" and "Fire all cops, all cops are murderers."
"I would consider them threatening towards law enforcement," Johnson said about the signs.
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