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Did Bryson Chaplin use his skateboard as a weapon?

Much of Officer Donald’s narrative centers around his fear of being assaulted by Bryson Chaplin hitting him with his skateboard. For supporting evidence, Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim pointed to what he says was similar behavior when Chaplin was at the Safeway on Cooper Point Rd. earlier that night. Stills taken from Safeway security camera footage and included in the Shooting Review Board binder do not support this accusation.

In his statement, Donald says that Chaplin raised the board over his head in an attempt to hit him with it. At no time in the Safeway video does Chaplin appear to make this motion with his skateboard.

At the 12:48 a.m. time stamp, footage taken outside of the store shows Chaplin swinging his board in a motion similar to that of a baseball bat, to the side, as opposed to over his head. There is nobody else in the frame when Chaplin does this. His motivation is unclear but it does not appear to be malevolent.

As Chaplin attempted to leave the store at 12:52 a.m., carrying a case of beer, he is confronted by Safeway employees Tammy Brown and Jason Gray. Chaplin throws the case of beer in the employee’s direction, where it hits the floor. Chaplin does raise his board at this time, but this action appears to be incidental to the beer being thrown. It is definitely not over his head in an attempt to bludgeon as described by Donald.

–Candace Mercer


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