Olympia, WA – The mayor of Washington’s capital city called herself a victim of “domestic terrorism” after the protesters she previously supported trashing her city spray-painted and vandalized her own home with Black Lives Matter graffiti.
Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby ignored recommendations from Interim Police Chief Aaron Jelcick to institute a curfew in the city after the first weekend of George Floyd protests became violent riots against officers two night in a row, The Olympian reported.
Instead, the mayor called a press conference and announced that the state capital was “not without sin in this matter.”
“We are a predominantly white community next to communities that are far more diverse,” Selby said. “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.”
“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 added.
The protests that the mayor said she supported resulted in 16 arrests in two nights, The Olympian reported.
Rather than giving her police department backup when protesters announced they would be returning to riot in the city again the next weekend, Selby asked “peaceful” protesters to push back against the violent rioters.
“Our message to those from outside our community that want to exploit the legitimate protests this week and replace it with their own agenda: Please stay home,” she said. “And I’m asking our community to shun the violent interlopers, and instead show them your unity, purpose, and peace.”
So, without a curfew in place, late on Friday night violent protesters began burning flags, smashing windows, and vandalizing businesses in downtown Olympia, The Olympian reported.
Then a large, loud group of rioters marched over to the mayor’s house and delivered their message there, too.
Selby wasn’t home when the incident occurred on June 12 but her security cameras captured a clear video of a person dressed in all black with a mask using a can of spray paint to vandalize the front of her home.
The video showed the mayor already had a “BLM” sign in her front window when the protesters began spray-painting the same letters on the siding next to the front door.
Then the person vandalized the front door before moving farther down the porch to paint the word “Abolish” on the grey facade in black spray paint.
The group stayed until a man with a flat, metal paddle-like object threatened the protesters if they didn’t leave the street, The Olympian reported.
He was backed up by a line of people in cars.
The mayor said she found out about the vandalism when her neighbors texted her about the chaos in front of her home, The Olympian reported.
She was shocked and very upset by what had happened.
“I’m really trying to process this,” Selby told The Olympian the next day. “It’s like domestic terrorism. It’s unfair.”
“It hurts when you’re giving so much to your community,” she lamented.
The mayor also said she felt badly about her neighbors with young children who were worried the protesters would return to their street, according to The Olympian.
But Selby’s home sustained significantly less damage than many of the businesses in her city that night.
Protesters smashed the windows at a Starbucks, a U.S. Bank, and several other small businesses along their route to City Hall, The Olympian reported.
Olympia Police Lieutenant Paul Lower said they also tagged numerous businesses and a church with graffiti.
Police stayed on the periphery of the activities and did not engage the protesters as they tore apart the city, The Olympian reported.