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Occupy Oakland: Iraq War Vet Severely Injured After Protesters Clash With Police

Tracy Bloom, Benjamin Gottlieb |
October 26, 2011 | 3:36 p.m. PDT

Executive Editor, Senior News Editor

Tear gas is shot at Occupy Oakland demonstrators (Creative Commons).
Tear gas is shot at Occupy Oakland demonstrators (Creative Commons).
A demonstrator at an Occupy Oakland protest who was severely injured after protesters clashed with police was identified Wednesday as Iraq War Veteran Scott Olson.

ABC News reported: "According to the organization’s statement, Scott Olsen, also a member of Veterans for Peace, was “shot in the head with a police projectile while peacefully participating in the Occupy Oakland march.” A news release from Mike Ferner, Occupy Oakland’s interim director, said that Olsen’s condition was stable but serious." 

More from Reuters: "A spokesman for Highland General Hospital confirmed that Olsen was being treated for injuries sustained during the protest and was listed in critical condition. He could not confirm whether Olsen had been struck by a tear gas canister."

According to the Associated Press, Olson suffered a fractured skull.

The Huffington Post is reporting that Olson is on a respirator. "They are waiting for a neurosurgeon to examine him to see if he needs surgery or not," said Olson's roommate Keith Shannon, adding that Olson was still in the emergency room.

The incident happened on Tuesday night during the Occupy Oakland March . From The Huffington Post: "The Oakland Police Department fired tear gas on Occupy Oakland demonstrators Tuesday night as they marched through downtown, determined to reclaim the camp that officers destroyed that morning. As the marchers zigged and zagged in search of safe ground, authorities bombarded and barricaded the activists into a drawn-out stalemate that resulted in further arrests."

The Associated Press is reporting that a vigil for Olson is scheduled to take place Wednesday evening near Oakland City Hall.

Olson, a 24-year-old former Marine, did two tours of duty in Iraq before leaving the military last year.


[View the story "Oakland" on Storify]

This video posted on youtube suggests Olson was hit by a tear-gas canister at close range. A second one was lobbed by a police officer even as protesters tried to come to his aid.



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