Mayor of Olympia, Washington, Describes Protest Vandalism as ‘Domestic Terrorism’

June 18, 2020 Updated: June 18, 2020

The home of the mayor of Olympia, Washington, and the city’s downtown area was vandalized last week, causing her to describe the incident as “domestic terrorism.”

“I’m really trying to process this,” Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby told The Olympian on Saturday. “It’s like domestic terrorism. It’s unfair.”

“It hurts when you’re giving so much to your community,” she added. According to the report, Selby and her family weren’t home at the time, but neighbors called to let her know about the vandalism.

Selby earlier this month said she wouldn’t impose a curfew on protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody last month.

“Let me be clear: The City of Olympia supports the peaceful protests that highlight the racial injustices black people continue to endure at the hands of police in the United States,” she said in a statement at the time. The mayor added that Olympia, the capital of Washington state, is “not without sin in this matter.”

“We are a predominantly white community next to communities that are far more diverse,” Selby also told The Olympian following the initial wave of protests. “That tells us that we are not, we have not been as welcoming and nurturing to communities of color as we’d like to think. The light switched on in America by Mr. Floyd’s murder shines glaringly on Olympia, as well.”

According to KING5, home surveillance cameras captured vandals spray-painting “BLM,” “racist,” “abolish,” and other slogans on the mayor’s house.

Selby told the news outlet that the Olympia Police Department has a good reputation nationwide due to a 2016 public safety levy, “Including Crisis Response units, with trained social workers responding to people that are experiencing a mental health breakdown so they’re not greeted with an officer, versus somebody that is not in a uniform,” Selby said.

Selby said that her city is now dealing with three crises: homelessness, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, and now civil unrest. Patience is needed, she said.

“There’s no quick fix to this,” Selby said.

Floyd, a black man, died in handcuffs on May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin used his knee to pin Floyd to the ground. Chauvin, who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck even after he said he couldn’t breathe and stopped moving, has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.

The other officers, J. Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, have all been charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired. If convicted, they potentially face the same penalty as Chauvin: up to 40 years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.