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Thursday, October 27, 2011

War veteran survives two tours of duty in Iraq only to be critically injured by Oakland police assault on Occupy protesters

Occupy Oakland: Iraq vet critically injured by police projectile

(Oakland Tribune) -- by Scott Johnson, Matt Krupnick and Thomas Peele --

In what appears to be the first serious injury nationwide in the Occupy Wall Street movement, a 24-year-old Iraq War veteran lay in an Oakland hospital Wednesday night with a critical skull fracture, adding a new level of intensity in a mass demonstration that has swept the country and led to clashes with police.

Scott Thomas Olsen, 24, of Daly City, was struck in the head above his right eye with a tear-gas canister during a massive confrontation Tuesday night in which protesters threw rocks and bottles at police officers who deployed tear gas and fired bean bags to disperse the crowd of about 1,000.

"It's absolutely unconscionable that our citizens are going overseas to protect other citizens just to come back and have our own police hurt them," said Joshua Shepherd, a six-year Navy veteran and friend of Olsen...

Wednesday afternoon, many gathered to hold a vigil for the injured Marine corporal, who hails from Onalaska, Wisc.

"He survived two tours in Iraq," said Adele Carpenter, a friend of Olsen's and a member of the Civilian Soldier Alliance. "This struggle has high stakes, I really respect the fact that Scott was standing up for what he believes in. He's really passionate about social justice causes."

Acting police Chief Howard Jordan said the incident is under investigation by Internal Affairs, Office of Investigator General, Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the federal monitor that oversees Oakland police as a part of a settlement police corruption lawsuit. Oakland police will also review its training, policies and procedures...

Meanwhile, Mayor Jean Quan has come under fire for the situation. Her Facebook page has drawn comments from at least 8,900 people, many posting negative remarks on her Tuesday morning statement commending police, firefighters and public works crews who "worked over the past week to peacefully close the encampment." The comments call for her ouster, say she is unfit for office, and say she should be ashamed of how police acted.

Olsen, a systems analyst at a San Francisco IT firm called OPSWAT, had camped out for several nights at San Francisco's occupation before moving to Oakland a few days ago...MORE...LINK
Oakland Policeman Throws Flash Grenade Into Crowd Trying To Help Injured Protester
( -- by kresling --

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