Marine veteran’s skull fractured by police projectile at ‘Occupy Oakland’ protest
A Marine veteran protesting with “Occupy Oakland” sustained a skull fracture Tuesday night after being shot in the head with appears to be a tear gas canister.
Scott Olsen, a two-time Iraq war veteran and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, was at 14th Street and Broadway when he was struck in the head.
“We need medic!” one protester was heard screaming. “Medic! Medic!”
“What happened?” another asked.
“He got shot!”
As Olsen was carried away, he appeared unconscious and bloody, unable to even respond when asked his name.
He is currently sedated at a local hospital awaiting examination by a neurosurgeon and is in a “critical condition” condition, according to The Guardian.
“Scott was marching with the 99% because he felt corporations and banks had too much control over our government, and that they weren’t being held accountable for their role in the economic downturn, which caused so many people to lose their jobs and their homes,” said Keith Shannon, who deployed with Olsen to Iraq.
Police in Oakland last night repeatedly clashed with demonstrators who refused to disperse, even after every one of their repeated assemblies were declared illegal.
Early Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers surrounded protesters at their small tent city in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. The police fired tear gas and beanbag rounds to clear the protesters, and arrested 97 people.
The two week-long demonstration was broken up, according to police, because of “continued violations of the law” including “numerous reports of fighting, assault and threatening/intimidating behavior.” Medical responders were denied access to the camp on at least two occasions.
The “Occupy Oakland” protesters regrouped later that night and marched towards City Hall in an effort to reclaim the site.
Police claimed that some protesters threw rocks, bottles and fireworks at them, which resulted in the declaration of an unlawful assembly and the order to disperse. When the protesters refused to leave, police fired tear gas into the crowd.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, some protesters threw paint at the officers and chanted, “This is why we call you pigs.” Some also set trash cans on fire.
The back window of a California Highway Patrol cruiser was also smashed.
More than 100 were reportedly arrested Tuesday night. Two officers were reportedly injured.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube Oct. 26, 2011, below:
With prior reporting by Stephen C. Webster and David Edwards