Iraq Veteran Has Fractured Skull After Oakland Protest (video)

Scott Olsen, an Iraq veteran who served two tours of duty, has beencritically injured in the confrontation between Occupy Oakland protesters and police on Tuesday night in downtown Oakland.Olsen, a systems administrator living in Daly City who is originally from Wisconsin, is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and was discharged in 2010 after joining the U.S. Marines in 2006. He suffered a skull fracture from the impact of a “blunt object” and is currently in “serious but stable condition” at Highland Hospital in east Oakland. He has been sedated and has been examined by a neurosurgeon, and has only regained consciousness a few times.

This video shows a protester, identified by YouTube userPlanetEarthAwakens1 as Olsen,lying on the ground and others going towards him. An explosive device is thrown from a group of police. The video then shows an injured person, bleeding from the head, being carried away.

This video shows some of the same footage, but is clearer.

More photos of Olsen after he was injured can be seen at and many more videos and photos of the clashes are at the New York Times Lede blog.

Said Jose Sanchez, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War:

“I think it is a sad state of affairs when a Marine can’t assemble peacefully in the streets without getting injured. We are pretty upset about it.”

After Oakland police dismantled their encampment in Frank Ogawa plaza, Occupy Oakland protesters marched on Tuesday to demonstrate against the closing.102 protesters were arrested on Tuesday and a rally is planned on Wednesday night in downtown Oakland; some protesters are saying they will try to retake the encampment outside City Hall.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Oakland police said that they had used tear gas and baton rounds but not flash bang grenades. Jay Finneburgh, an activist and photographer who was at the protest, said that he had seen such grenades used. On returning to where Olsen had fallen after being struck, Finneburgh said that he had found a beanbag round, which is a small fabric pouch filled with 40 grams of lead shot and is among the “most commonly used projectiles in US policing, though it was withdrawn for 18 years after a fatal incident in 1971.”

The Oakland police also said that they did not use rubber bullets against protesters butphotoscontradict such statements.Oakland’s independent police review body also said today that it would be “looking into” what happened in regard to Olsen’s injuries.

“I’m just absolutely devastated that someone who did two tours of Iraq and came home safely is now lying in a US hospital because of the domestic police force,” said Adele Carpenter, who has known Olsen since July — and she is surely not alone in feeling so.


Previous Care2 Coverage

City Spends Millions To Attack Occupy Oakland [Photos]

Breaking: Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets At Occupy Oakland VIDEO

Exclusive Photos From Police Raid On Occupy Oakland

Photo taken on October 14, 2011, by dignidadrebelde


Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y5 years ago

This is outrageous. The Commissioner and the Captain in charge of that unit should be hauled in front of an inquest. Not the only answer, but you have to start with the people in charge. The officers on the line have to be given parameters.

Thank God for cell phones and video.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer5 years ago

Violence only begets more violence and that is not what these protests or protesters need. Let the bad apples in the PD show their true colors, the protests do not need to detract from their message and that is all revenge would get.

Michael M.
Michael M5 years ago

I don't see what the problem is here. Find that scumbag cop and anyone who supports him and kill them ! It's pretty obvious who the enemies of the people are.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

Violence is never the answer

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer5 years ago

B. First Amendment (cont'd)
2. “Areas set aside in public places for political activists to exercise their right of free speech in the United States. "Free Speech Zones” intended to stifle dissent from government policies or actions shall be declared unlawful.
3. No one shall be arrested or put on “no-fly” lists for speaking out against the government, or for disagreeing with, or participating in protests against the President, Vice President, or elected representatives or their policies. “No-fly” lists shall be eliminated.
4. The federal and state governments and their agencies shall be forbidden from identifying, profiling, scanning with facial recognition software, listing in a database, detaining, or attacking any protestor for exercising the constitutional right to free speech and peaceful assembly.

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
-James Madison

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer5 years ago

The 1st Amendment guarantees the right to peacefully assemble and protest. Federal law should trump state and local law but the 1st Amendment has been judicially pre-empted by local caveats since the 40s. The Bush administration pushed those pre-emptions to the extremes when they set up "free speech zones" at their campaign rallies that were areas enclosed by chain link fences which were situated far enough from the candidates and media that they could be not seen or heard. Too many rights were taken away by the "Patriot Act" but sad to say the new administration seems to be in no hurry to reinstate those rights.
There are movements being set up to try to regain the rights lost over the past 11 years and one such one is the peoples Amendment movement at; whose Section IV calls for:

A. Denial of Constitutional Freedoms
1. Any constitutional right or freedom lost through legislation, Presidential order or other directive, shall immediately be restored.
2. A denial of constitutional rights or freedom shall be declared a felony. This includes denial of constitutional freedom stemming from an Executive Order of the President and actions of Congress, the Supreme Court, or officer of the law.
B. First Amendment
1. Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly are constitutional rights and shall be guaranteed by law. No one shall be arrested, lose their job, or be sued for expressing a point of view

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer5 years ago

Debbie B
I apologize for saying it was the 2nd Amendment when you were right about it being the 1st Amendment. All I can say is it was 4:25 a.m. EDT when I posted that after being up since 6:30 the previous morning (I get up to watch my 3 year old grandson. Also the sun was in my eyes as my desk faces east and the wind had kicked up the sand into my eyes (have to remeber to vacuum sometime give me a couple of minutes I will think up more excuses. I apologize for my error. Thanks, Steve

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer5 years ago

Debbie B
It is the second amendment that guarrantees the right to assemble and protest and seek redress of government wrongs and you are right federal law should trump state and local law but sad to say the 2nd Amendment is another part of the Constitution that the Bush administration whittled away at. They needed their candidates during campaigns to appear with no protesters close enough to be heard or seen by whatever honest media we have left in America. The right set up free speech zones at their campaign rallies that were area encircled by chain link fences that were situated far enough from the candidates and media that th candidates could not see or hear them therefore were able to believe their own rhetoric that the people supported them. This is still used by the right and especially the Tea Party candidates so they too believe their own BS. Too many rights were taken away from the American public by the party of fear and anger but sad to say the new administration seems to be in no hurry to reinstate those rights.

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land,
it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
-James Madison

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer5 years ago

Portland N
With the seriousness of the injury and the shape Scott was in as they carried him away I seriously doubt that he would be able to stand let alone walk. As with all the protests they were volunteer nurses who I am sure would not have allowed him to even attempt to walk.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer5 years ago

Laurie D
The signature wounds of the Vietnam war were from exposure to agent orange that took the lives of many vets long after they returned from combat. The signature wound of the Iraq war has been the TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) caused by being exposed to roadside IEDs going off or having the vehicle they are in hit by rocket propelled grenades. Some TBI symptoms, like Agent Orange exposure symptoms can take years to show up. Cpl Olsen seems to have made it through 2 tours in Iraq without receiving a TBI only to receive one at the hands of the police here at home. He has regained consciousness but will still have to undergo surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain and is still not able to talk.
The military and the police should be respected and supported but both should remember they are there to follow all LAWFUL orders. 99.9% of the police are trying to do their jobs as professionally as they can, it is that 0.1% that shines the negative light on the Force as a whole. I am hoping that all protesters remain calm, I am pretty sure from what I have heard of Cpl Olsen he would not want the protests to devolve into anarchy. Protesters should be aware of anyone trying to push them past the limit of common sense and peaceful protests. There are anarchists who look to turn any peaceful protest into the chaos they crave. There are also those who either act for the 1% or think they act for the 1% who will try to turn protests into things that can only have negative o