Police Chief Retires in Shame

Chapter 8 of PROUD BOY SHOT By ANTIFA ∴ Full In-Depth Story with Proof of Everything

(Last updated Oct 2, 1Pm)


Table of Contents


September 5th

6:13pm

City Manager’s statement on the September 4 demonstration and shooting incident

People from around the state and beyond come to Olympia, the seat of State government, to express their ideas and state their positions, sometimes through protests and demonstrations. The primary purpose and role of the Olympia Police Department (OPD) during public demonstrations is to protect persons, property and the First Amendment Rights of all people. We do this even when our community might vehemently oppose the ideas and positions being expressed.

Our request to those who come to Olympia to exercise their First Amendment Rights is that they respect our home, our property and the safety of our residents. That did not happen yesterday.

Here is how the situation unfolded as City of Olympia staff currently understand it:

On Saturday afternoon, two opposing groups, here in connection with an anti-vaccination demonstration, engaged in a verbal altercation in the area near the Intercity Transit Station on State Avenue. The verbal altercation escalated into pushing and shoving between the groups. A member of one of the groups then produced a handgun and fired several shots, and a member of the other group was struck in the ankle.
The City is aware that one of the groups involved is reportedly a Portland-based Proud Boys group, and the other group involved is reportedly allied with Antifa.

The Olympia Police Department (OPD) was aware of the planned demonstration and was actively monitoring the movement of the two groups through the City. When the shots were fired, OPD officers immediately stepped in, took control of the scene, and provided medical care to the shooting victim until Olympia Fire Department (OFD) units arrived and took over. OFD transported the person to Providence St. Peter’s Hospital for further care and evaluation. Our understanding is that the injury is not life threatening and the person shot is cooperating with authorities.

OPD detectives are reviewing security camera footage from Intercity Transit, and the investigation into the incident continues.

We are also aware of social media reports of a woman being chased and assaulted downtown in connection to the demonstration, allegedly by members of the Proud Boys group. OPD has not received a report about the assault yet, but we encourage anyone with knowledge of this incident to please contact the Police Department so a report can be filed, and the incident investigated.

We are seeking the community’s help on all of these incidents. Anyone with information about the circumstances around the shooting can contact crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 with what they know. If anyone witnessed the reported assault or experienced an assault as result of Saturday’s activities, please call Police Dispatch at 360-704-2740 to report the crime.

We are deeply disappointed and angry at these violations of our City’s hospitality and of our resident’s sense of peace and safety. Attacks on people in our community are absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We will investigate, and the ones found responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

I know the community shares my frustration with the behaviors, the violence and the ugliness that took place on our streets yesterday. It’s not what any of us want in our community. Our work together to make Olympia a safe and welcoming place for all people is ongoing, and yesterday’s incident shows us just how much further we have to go to get there.

- Jay Burney, Olympia City Manager


September 9th

Update!

Update from Interim Police Chief Aaron Jelcick on recent shooting

Last Saturday, members of the Proud Boys and people allied with Antifa convened in Downtown Olympia intent on engaging in conflict with one another. Most of these people were not from our community. These two groups have a history of engaging in violent encounters with each other in different cities locally and across the nation. The encounter in Olympia ended in multiple people being assaulted, including one person being shot with a firearm. This type of behavior is inexcusable and cannot be tolerated.
 
The Olympia Police Department (OPD) continues to actively investigate multiple crimes committed by the two groups involved. Our detectives have reviewed video footage and interviewed witnesses, which have allowed us to confirm some things about the incident:
 
We can confirm that members of the Proud Boys were pursuing members of the group allied with Antifa when the two groups clashed at the Intercity Transit Station. We can confirm that the shots were fired by someone from the Antifa group, and the bullet struck a member of the Proud Boys.
 
The shooter left the scene before they could be identified by Police, but our investigators are tracking leads on them. Once identified, we will arrest and charge them for this crime.
 
We will be releasing video footage of what transpired to the public in the coming days. We continue to seek the community’s help to gather the facts. Anyone with information about the circumstances around the shooting, can contact crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 with what they know. If anyone witnessed or experienced an assault as result of Saturday’s activities, please call Police Dispatch at 360-704-2740 to report the crime.
 
OPD is also aware that the Proud Boys are advertising their plans to return to Downtown Olympia on September 18 as a response to the shooting. We know this is a point of great concern for many of our community members who are frustrated and angered by those who come to our city bringing violence and criminality. We want the community to know that OPD is undertaking advanced planning in preparation for September 18 right now.
 
We have a simple message to anyone considering coming to Olympia to respond to the shooting, to anyone making preparation to fight or to anyone who is willing to take part in violence on our streets: Do not come to our city. If you are already in our city, stay home.
 
To our residents, please know the Olympia Police Department will do all it can to protect the peace and safety of the Olympia community.

- Aaron Jelcick, Interim OPD Police Chief


September 10th

10:26am City of Olympia tweeted

Aaron Jelcick to retire as Chief of the City of Olympia Police Department

Interim Olympia Police Chief Aaron Jelcick has announced his retirement from the Olympia Police Department (OPD) effective September 30, 2021. Jelcick has led OPD as the interim chief since November 2019, following the retirement of Police Chief Ronnie Roberts.
 
It has been a privilege and honor to have served this community over the past 28 and a half years,” said Jelcick. “The men and women who work for the Olympia Police Department are among the finest public servants you will find anywhere. I am continuously amazed by their compassion and respect for all people, and their desire to protect, serve, and care for those who are in need.
 
“The past several years have been challenging for those serving in the in a law enforcement profession, but despite these challenges the Olympia Police Department continued to learn, adapt and improve in how it served the community. I am proud of the work the OPD is doing, and I am confident that the OPD will continue to be among the finest in the nation.”
 
Jelcick began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with OPD and has served as a walking patrol officer, training officer, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force detective, Olympia police detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, police lieutenant, Deputy Police Chief, and as the Interim Police Chief. In 2015, he was appointed by the Olympia City Council to serve as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Police and Community Relations.
 
Under Jelcick’s leadership the OPD’s Crisis Response Unit and Familiar Faces Program has become nationally recognized for growing and expanding alternative police response for people suffering mental health and substance use disorder.
 
“Aaron Jelcick stepped up for the City, for the community and for me to lead our police department during the most difficult period in our City’s history,” said City Manager Jay Burney. “I am tremendously grateful for his leadership and support as we’ve navigated a global pandemic, social unrest, and as we have taken on the important task of reimagining public safety. His commitment to the City of Olympia and the Olympia Police Department is unmatched.”
 
With Jelcick’s retirement, a new interim chief will be selected and the City will restart its search for a permanent police chief within the next 30 -60 days. The City remains committed to a broad, inclusive and transparent process.
 
The Olympia Police Chief is responsible for a staff of 110 employees and an annual operating budget of $21.8 million: overseeing 76 commissioned personnel, 13 corrections officers, and 21 civilians.


The Olympia Tribune published

Olympia Interim Police Chief Retires by Mindy Chambers.

Less than 24 hours after he updated the community on another open, armed conflict that raged through downtown Olympia and ended in a shooting before police took any action to de-escalate it, the city of Olympia announced interim Police Chief Aaron Jelcick is retiring effective September 30. 

And apparently as reassurance to a community rattled by more than a year of sporadic, largely unchecked violence near the state Capitol Campus and downtown…

…Jelcick, interim chief since November 2019, described Saturday’s incident as a clash between “members of the Proud Boys and people allied with Antifa”…

…He characterized the behavior as inexcusable but did not address widespread criticism that law enforcement officers did nothing to de-escalate the situation before the shooting. The person who was shot received a minor injury and the investigation continues, Jelcick said. It’s not clear how OPD actions on Saturday fit in with the department’s Guiding Principles, which specifically call for the use of de-escalation techniques and discuss when to use dispersal orders during civil disturbances.

The criticism echoes that levied against police last year, when law enforcement seemed to be caught unawares about the potential for violence at several protests that erupted into assaults and shootings. The Guiding Principles came about as a result of those protests.

The city has been without a permanent police chief for nearly two years; the previous chief Ronnie Roberts retired in November 2019. A search for a new permanent chief was upended earlier this year when the contractor conducting the search failed to find out that one of the candidates was disciplined for a use of force incident while a police officer in another state and another, an OPD officer, was reprimanded twice in 2016, for incidents other than the use of force.

City Manager Jay Burney, who supervises Jelcick, said Friday morning he will appoint a new interim chief “within the next few days” and restart the police chief search in 30-60 days. Burney said he will be meeting with search firms over the next couple of weeks before choosing one. The city news release also said the city “remains committed to a broad, inclusive and transparent process,” but gave no further details on what that will look like. 

Burney said Saturday’s events did not precipitate the retirement, and in the news release, he lauded Jelcick’s record.

“Aaron Jelcick stepped up for the City, for the community and for me to lead our police department during the most difficult period in our City’s history. “I am tremendously grateful for his leadership and support as we’ve navigated a global pandemic, social unrest, and as we have taken on the important task of reimagining public safety. His commitment to the City of Olympia and the Olympia Police Department is unmatched,” Burney said.

He noted that under Jelcick’s leadership, the OPD’s Crisis Response Unit and Familiar Faces Program grew to national acclaim “for growing and expanding alternative police response for people suffering mental health and substance use disorder.”

Jelcick noted the difficulties of the job and praised those in OPD he’s worked with. “The past several years have been challenging for those serving in the in a law enforcement profession, but despite these challenges the Olympia Police Department continued to learn, adapt and improve in how it served the community. I am proud of the work the OPD is doing, and I am confident that the OPD will continue to be among the finest in the nation.”

Some mild friction between Jelcick and Burney emerged in July when Jelcick joined five other local police chiefs and the Thurston County Sheriff in a statement that later drew a bit of a contradiction from Burney. 

The statement was a response to numerous police reform laws enacted in 2021, and said in part: 

“This bill (House Bill 1310) will change how police respond to various calls. In most instances, police will no longer respond to “community care” situations where identifiable crimes have not been committed. Examples of “community care” situations include suicidal threats, drug overdoses, medical emergencies, welfare checks, public nuisances, and people suffering from mental illness or crisis. Instead, mental health professionals, fire and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel, and other specialized providers may be asked to respond to those requests. The Olympia Police Department will rely more heavily on its Crisis Response Unit to help fill this gap. … If community members call 911 to report “community care” emergencies, officers and deputies have been encouraged to make telephone contact, gather more information, and determine the proper response

In his statement, Burney countered: 

“When called, the Olympia Police Department will respond. Our commitment is to make sure it is the right response. We believe that is what our lawmakers want, what our community wants, and it is what we want,” he wrote. “Depending on the nature of the call, OPD’s response may be the arrival of a police officer, or it may mean the arrival of a Crisis Response Unit, or both in some combination. Depending on the seriousness of the call, OPD’s response may be a uniformed officer in a matter of minutes, or a car driving by the situation, or a follow-up phone call. The community will receive a response.”

Burney said the police reform efforts in the Legislature “are only speeding Olympia up the path we were already taking. While on that path, we already banned chokeholds, car chases, and shooting into moving vehicles. We already eliminated tear gas. And our police officers already operate under a duty to intervene … We have been growing our Crisis Response Unit. Our next step is to expand it to a 24-hour service.”

That step likely will happen next year, along with an expansion of the Downtown Ambassadors to a seven-day-a-week operation. Both were discussed by the Ad Hoc Committee on Public Safety at a meeting Thursday night.

The City Council formed the committee, composed of three of its members, in the aftermath of downtown protests that began in May 2020 and sometimes ended in a shower of pepper spray and tear gas. It is working to gain an understanding of the current system and to make recommendations to the council on policy and funding options to help reduce inequities, eliminate bias, and “create a public safety system that works for all Olympians.” 

The city also is engaged in a Reimagine Public Safety effort focused on policing, corrections, prosecution, public defense, and courts and has named a community workgroup to help with those efforts, including holding community “listening sessions” that have yet to be scheduled. 

“The past several years have been challenging for those serving in the in a law enforcement profession, but despite these challenges the Olympia Police Department continued to learn, adapt and improve in how it served the community. I am proud of the work the OPD is doing, and I am confident that the OPD will continue to be among the finest in the nation.”

Jelcick began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with OPD and has served as a walking patrol officer, training officer, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force detective, Olympia police detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, police lieutenant, Deputy Police Chief, and as interim chief. 


The Olympian published, “Olympia’s interim police chief to retire

Interim Olympia Police Chief Aaron Jelcick plans to retire by Sept. 30 after almost two years on the job, the city announced Friday.

Jelcick told The Olympian he does not have a new job lined up but has not closed the door on finding other work. He said he simply felt it was the right time to retire.

“There’s a time and a place for everything,” Jelcick said. “I just feel like now is a great time for me to spend more time with my family doing some of the things that I love to do.”

The city plans to select a new interim chief soon and restart its search for a permanent chief within the next one to two months, according to a news release. City Manager Jay Burney praised Jelcick for stepping into the chief position during a difficult time for the city.

“I am tremendously grateful for his leadership and support as we’ve navigated a global pandemic, social unrest, and as we have taken on the important task of reimagining public safety,” Burney said in the release. “His commitment to the City of Olympia and the Olympia Police Department is unmatched.”

Jelcick became interim chief in November 2019 when Chief Ronnie Roberts retired. He has remained in the position as the city has struggled to find a permanent replacement.

In April, Jelcick was among four finalists for the job when the city called off its search after a news story about one of the other candidates raised questions about the city’s vetting process. The story described finalist Derrick Turner grabbing a man by the throat while he was an officer in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Neither Burney or the consulting firm hired by the city to run the hiring process were aware of the story prior to naming Turner a finalist.

In Friday’s news release, the city made no mention of the previous delay but indicated it will conduct a “broad, inclusive and transparent process.”

Jelcick included some parting words in the release, saying he has felt privileged and honored to serve the Olympia community over the past 28-1/2 years.

“The past several years have been challenging for those serving in a law enforcement profession, but despite these challenges the Olympia Police Department continued to learn, adapt and improve in how it served the community,” Jelcick said.

In speaking with The Olympian, Jelcick commended those he works with at the department and called it a wonderful place to work.

“I’m super proud of the work that we do,” Jelcick said. “I think we are one of the most highly trained and professional organizations in this law enforcement profession and I stand behind that every day I come to work.”

In his time at OPD, the release says, Jelcick served as a patrol officer, training officer, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force detective, police detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, police lieutenant, Deputy Police Chief and finally Interim Police Chief.

As chief, Jelcick was responsible for 110 employees and an annual operating budget of $21.8 million, according to the release. This included 76 commissioned personnel, 13 corrections officers and 21 civilians.

In 2015, the Olympia City Council appointed him to serve on the Ad Hoc Committee for Police and Community Relations, per the release.

The city also credited him with leading the department’s Crisis Response Unit and Familiar Faces Program — two alternative police responses for people suffering mental health and substance use disorder.

This story was originally published September 10, 2021 10:54 AM.


September 15th

The Olympian publishedResidents voice frustration about lack of police response to violent downtown clash” by Leopold Brine.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story misquoted Councilman Clark Gilman about actions the city can take. He said the city’s rules “haven’t evolved to the point where we are prepared to enforce militia statutes or intervene prior to criminal acts.” That quote has been corrected.

Following clashes between two groups in downtown Olympia on Sept. 4 where people were allegedly assaulted and one person was shot, residents voiced their frustration with the city’s lack of response and expressed concern that the situation will repeat itself this Saturday.

The Olympia City Council heard multiple complaints from residents, a business owner, and a city council candidate about the lack of police presence downtown when the Proud Boys and anti-fascists, or Antifa, violently clashed in the streets Sept. 4.

Those who commented directed their frustrations at the police department for not being downtown to protect citizens from the two groups. They also expressed concern that the event may repeat itself on Saturday, when the two groups plan to reconvene downtown.

Before residents spoke, Mayor Cheryl Selby shared a statement about Saturday’s events, saying she also felt angry and frustrated by the violence on Sept. 4. She said the city has no problem with peaceful protests; however, “as we have seen in the past, some who march through our streets are only here to cause chaos.”

Selby implored Olympians to not engage “with those who come to our city with destructive intentions.” She said that it is hard to prevent someone bent on committing crimes from committing crimes, “but what we can do is hold accountable those who commit such crimes.”

Selby said she has asked city leadership and police to learn from past events and to prepare for what may happen this coming Saturday or anytime in the future.

“OPD will use the practices outlined in our guiding principles for demonstrations and crowd control, and make every effort to intervene early and swiftly to address lawlessness,” she said.

Sara Palmer, a mother who lives in northeast Olympia, told the council she was downtown with her teenager shopping at Underhill Plants, roughly two blocks away from the Intercity Transit Center, where a shooting took place less than three minutes after she and her teenager left the store.

“That’s very concerning for me as a local resident, as a parent, as somebody who’d like to be able to go downtown to look at house plants on a Saturday without a bunch of people roaming around hitting other people with sticks, never mind shooting each other,” Palmer told the council.

On Sept. 4, the two groups antagonized one another and clashed throughout the day. According to the Olympia Police, multiple assaults were reported, including one in which a woman told police she was chased and assaulted by Proud Boys, The Olympian reported.

At around 3 p.m., a group of protesters dressed in black — the dress usually associated with Antifa — ran through the transit center fleeing another group in pursuit. Video released by police shows men striking an Antifa member who then runs into the transit center, turns around and appears to fire five shots in the direction of the other group, allegedly striking a Proud Boy in the leg.

Palmer told the council that when she was downtown, she saw no law enforcement presence, “and that concerns me a great deal.”

Palmer was not alone. The owner of Underhill Plants, Alden Davis, told the council he had received notice from the city about the groups’ plans to rally, so it was clear the city was aware of what could happen, yet “all the violence still happened.” He asked the council, “Is something better going to happen this weekend, or should I close my business and tell people to stay home?”

Davis said he wants “a lot more police presence” downtown for gathering planned for Sept. 18. “I’m hoping that there’s going to be something, and that we can have some kind of reassurance ahead of time.”

Candace Mercer, who is running against incumbent Clark Gilman for Olympia City Council Position 4, shared her experience holding a political rally outside City Hall at 3 p.m. that Saturday. She said she chose City Hall because “it was the safest location I could think of in the city because it’s police headquarters.”

Mercer said when she asked OPD if officers would protect her at the rally, they told her “I should be prepared to protect myself.”

Alex Frenette told council that political clashes are not strange in this town, recalling the frequent protests that took place in Olympia after the 2020 election, where one person was shot at a protest.

Frenette asked what OPD will do on Sept. 18 when the Proud Boys have said they will return to Olympia to respond to the shooting of one of their members. “Are we going to see the same level of negligence from the Olympia Police Department as we saw a week and a half ago?”

Council members thanked those who spoke and said they had been having meetings all week trying to figure out how to respond to what happened on Sept. 4. However, they said the city can only do so much when it comes to preventing more incidents like this.

“At this point we’ll continue to make the calls to have people not bring their guns downtown, but we honestly can’t promise that people intending to brawl won’t brawl,” said Councilman Clark Gilman.

Gilman said the city has been having conversations for over a year on the topic of violent protests and how to best respond to them, but the city’s rules “haven’t evolved to the point where we are prepared to enforce militia statutes or intervene prior to criminal acts.” Militia statutes are rules for armed groups trying to do the work of a police force, Gilman wrote in an email to the Olympian.

City Manager Jay Burney tried to reassure those in attendance that Saturday would be different from what happened on Sept. 4, which he called unacceptable. He told the council and attendees that OPD is planning for Saturday and the city will inform the downtown community as they learn more about what Saturday will bring.

CHERYL SELBY’S FULL STATEMENT

“We know that our community is frustrated and angry about the violence we’ve seen in Olympia in recent weeks. As both your mayor and a longtime resident, I share each of these emotions and wanted to speak out to reassure the public, especially with the possibility of more tensions coming to our streets.

“Along with many of you, we’ve heard about the plans for additional rallies and demonstrations on September 18. To be clear, we support the rights of individuals to peacefully gather and exercise their First Amendment rights. Olympia sits proudly as the seat of our state’s government, and we can shine as an example of freedom of speech and thought.

“Unfortunately, as we have seen in the past, some who march through our streets are only here to cause chaos. Instead of promoting peace and productive ideas, they bring intimidation through their words, actions and even weapons. That is why tonight, I implore the members of our community, do not engage with those who come to our city with destructive intentions. It’s difficult to prevent criminal acts from those who are intent on committing them. But what we can do is hold accountable those who commit such crimes.

“Too often, positive messages in historic movements are co-opted by those who have their own agendas. We will not let those agendas eclipse the values of our community. Only by holding onto our community values will we be able to fight against the hate and bias that can turn us against each other.

“We can also be prepared for future events. We’re all frustrated that the city was unable to manage last weekend’s events and are asking our city leadership and our police department to take the lessons learned from last weekend’s events and use them to prepare and hone our processes and practices as part of our preparations for the coming weekend and beyond.

“Anyone who comes into the city with the intent of committing acts of violence and destruction is not welcome here. OPD will use the practices outlined in our guiding principles for demonstrations crowd control to make every effort to intervene early and swiftly to address lawlessness.

“There are so many things about Olympia to celebrate, especially after all we’ve faced after the last 18-months or so. Let’s do everything we can as a community to continue our strong tradition of making Olympia a safe and inclusive place where violence doesn’t have a home.”


September 23rd

At 5:05pm the Oly PD tweeted...

Suspect of September 4th Shoothing Arrested

On 9/4/21, a shooting occurred at the Intercity Transit Station located near State Avenue and Franklin Street in downtown Olympia.  

This afternoon, the suspect of that shooting was located and arrested by Olympia Police Department Detectives.  A 36-year-old male, resident of Olympia, has been booked into the Thurston County Jail for the crime of Assault 1st.  

This investigation, as well as investigations into other disturbances that happened that day, is on-going.  Anyone with information about this shooting or other assaults that happened that day, please contact the Olympia Police Department at 360.753.8300.

Contact
Paul Lower, PIO
Olympia Police Department
360.753.8410
plower@ci.olympia.wa.us