Olympia, WA (5-26-15) — After an evening full of heartfelt grievances voiced at the Olympia City Council meeting, Tuesday, over the shooting of two young black men, a search for a reputed broken window on 4th Ave was conducted and located at one of the tattoo shops on that street nearby. It had been boarded up with plywood, but one Oly LEO explained it had been the result of a domestic dispute and was unrelated to the demonstrations protesting the recent shooting of 2 young black males for an alleged shoplifting incident at the West side Safeway grocery store. The photos and reporting for that controversy can be found in a preceding article published here. Those who want more police action to reduce street crime in the community see themselves defending their officers from the criticisms of those who believe the tactics the Oly police employ are excessively violent and counter-productive.
After a beat down was observed on 4th Ave that evening, the police (when they arrived minutes later, only to find “no witnesses, including the victim”) were asked where their vaunted foot patrol was when this happened. They’d arrived by van and replied, “Well, we’re here now!”
This report is about the danger and inhospitable lawless atmosphere found in Olympia’s Tenderloin district–on 4th Ave between City Hall and Capitol Blvd…especially near the taverns and alcohol retailers near the Artesian City Park. There’s an active and varied black market well attended after dark despite new foot patrols there by Olympia’s Police Dept. Prostitution, drug addiction/sales, theft, car prowls, vandalism, robbery, brawls and stabbings are common there. The area is littered with hypodermic needles and Heroin is said to be cheaper than marijuna on the streets of Olympia. On every occasion, when this reporter has ventured into that area, camera in tow on the public sidewalk, its possession has been challenged with suspicion and hostility…as though certain denizens found there have appropriated the commons for their own business/personal agenda.
So it was after returning from a walk to the aforementioned broken window that a brutal sidewalk brawl in front of King Solomon’s Reef was seen about 10:00 p.m. that evening on a crowded sidewalk with dozens of onlookers/witnesses. Nobody made any move to stop or break up the fight which consisted of one man (reportedly well known to the police) beating another to the pavement with his fists and pounding him repeatedly in the face and head for about 1 – 2 minutes before fleeing the scene through the door to upstairs apartments located at 213 4th Ave above the food vendor shops lining the sidewalk.
When the police arrived on the scene some minutes later, they were unable to locate any witnesses to the crime including the victim. It was said this is often the case when the violence is over a drug deal gone bad as neither party wants the police to know just what they were doing or what prompted the dispute. The display of violence certainly gave credibility to the complaints of many Olympia residents not feeling safe in that section of the city, thus discouraging them from shopping there. The vibes on the street at that hour toward ‘normal’ members of the community are negative and hostile. It’s believed this is inspired by the paranoia living outside the law brings with it. Drug deals are arranged or consummated in the taverns or in the upstairs apartments nearby. The bar owners have an easy opportunity to profit from these circumstances as a tavern easily obscures just who is up to what. Many local drug pushers use them as their ‘office’, and vet those who aren’t regulars and look like they may not ‘belong’. The sight of a member of the ‘press’ with a camera typically provokes panic/suspicion and hostility. It is NOT a safe environment for the police, the public, or even the criminal element. The Oly PD and City Council have their work cut out for them.
The photos published here are intended to alert the public and expose those violent street criminals that endanger residents while destroying the community.