- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - An Olympia police officer did not violate department policies when he shot and injured two young men in a May encounter that sparked protests, a five-member shooting review board announced Wednesday.

Officer Ryan Donald, who has been on administrative leave since the May 21 shooting, will return to work in the next few weeks after the board unanimously found he acted within policy when he fired his gun and that his actions did not precipitate the use of force.

The board sent its findings to Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts, who agreed with them.

Donald, who is white, encountered the two half brothers, who are black, after responding to a report that two men carrying skateboards tried to steal beer from a grocery store. Donald reported he was being assaulted with a skateboard before the shooting.

Police officials have said race was not a factor, but the shooting set off a series of protests in Olympia, the state capital.

“Because of the trauma of the event and the length of his absence, the department has a plan to reintegrate Officer Donald before assigning his routine duties,” the board noted.

In early September, Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim said he won’t seek criminal charges against Donald.

The two men who were injured in the shooting, Bryson Chaplin, 21, and Andre Thompson, 24, have been charged with felony assault against the officer. They pleaded not guilty at a court hearing last week.

A message left with their attorney seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The review board included a community member, a deputy city attorney, an officer and two police managers.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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