Scott Olsen, an Iraq veteran, suffered a fractured skull last night after he was allegedly hit in the head with a police projectile at the Occupy Oakland protests. Olsen is currently in critical condition.
After Olsen’s injury, videos and pictures began to circulate around the internet which reportedly show a police officer throwing a “flash bang” explosive. The Guardian notes that another explosive was thrown in Olsen’s direction as his fellow protesters rushed to his aid.
Here’s a video of the incident:
Oakland citizen’s police review board hasn’t filed a formal complaint yet but they are currently reviewing the pictures and videos that emerged last night.
Adele Carpenter, a fellow protester, told the Guardian:
“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.”
Olsen served two tours in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. He left the military in 2010 and is now a member of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Veterans for Peace said in a statement:
“Police in the majority of cities are acting with restraint and humanity towards the encampments, but Veterans For Peace will not be deterred by police who choose to use brutal tactics.”
After the incident the Oakland police department held a press conference. The police explained that they used tear gas and baton rounds on the protesters, but did not use flash bang grenades.
Do you think is an isolated incident? Will the occupy protests continue to get more violent? Are some soldiers now fighting a war at home?