Washington state patrolman will not face charges in shooting of two black men

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 02, 2015 6:20 PM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A police officer in Olympia, Washington, will not face criminal charges after shooting two unarmed black men suspected of trying to steal beer from a supermarket, a local prosecutor's office said on Wednesday.

Officer Ryan Donald, a three-year veteran of the Olympia Police Department, told authorities the men had no weapons during the May incident but attacked him with a skateboard and that he issued a verbal warning before opening fire.

No charges will be brought against the officer, said Anne Larsen, a spokeswoman for the Thurston County prosecuting attorney.

The shooting in the Washington state capital triggered street demonstrations. It followed a series of fatal police confrontations across the country that put law enforcement agencies under scrutiny over the use of force, particularly against minorities.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Peter Cooney)