Oakland Police threw tear gas and used rubber bullets on the crowd of Occupy Wall Street movement protestors in Oakland, California, and in the process Tuesday night managed to critically injure an Iraq War veteran, Scott Olsen, who not only managed to survive two tours in Iraq but the survive them without injury.
Huffington Post writer Jason Cherkis notes the Oakland, California police were “determined to reclaim the camp that officers destroyed that morning,” adding and update later stating,
“New video posted to YouTube suggests that Olsen was hit at close range with a tear-gas canister. After demonstrators rush to Olsen’s aid, an Oakland cop waits a few beats before lobbing a second tear-gas canister at the crowd. They are attending to Olsen when the canister explodes, sending smoke everywhere.”
“Activists staged Tuesday night’s march through downtown Oakland in response to a violent police raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment earlier that day, during which officers rained tear gas and rubber bullets on the activists in an effort to clear the camp. Police arrested scores of protesters during the eviction.”
“The local police’s use of force seriously injured an Occupy activist and Iraq War veteran.
“Scott Olsen, 24, remains sedated on a respirator, in stable but critical condition at Oakland’s Highland Hospital after being hit in the head with a police projectile.
“Olsen’s roommate, Keith Shannon, 24, told The Huffington Post that Olsen is still in the emergency room.
“Right now, he’s under sedation,” Shannon said. “He walked into the hospital.” But soon after his arrival, Shannon said, doctors found that there was swelling in Olsen’s brain and put him under. He did not get a chance to talk to his friend. “They are waiting for a neurosurgeon to examine him to see if he needs surgery or not,” Shannon said. If he doesn’t need an operation, he’ll be moved to the intensive care unit.
YouTube video of the incident shows Olsen, wearing his Marine jacket without his nametape, being carted through a cloud of tear-gas smoke to the sounds of shrieking activists. In a close up, his forehead appears bruised and bloodied. He stares up at his ad-hoc triage in a daze. When asked, “What’s your name?” he can’t answer. Someone screams, “Medic!”
Shannon first got to know Olsen serving in Iraq from August 2006 to May 2007, when the two worked tactical communications as part of the Marines’ 3rd Battalion. Olsen subsequently served a second tour. “We both came out against the war,” Shannon said.
Olsen was never injured during his two tours in Iraq.
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