Sunday, December 4, 2011

One month into "investigation," Oakland police still pretending to be clueless

OAKLAND -- Scott Olsen, a Marine Corps war veteran who made headlines nationwide when he suffered a skull fracture in the middle of a violent clash between police and Occupy Oakland protesters last month, returned to Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on Sunday to talk about his condition.

Olsen has told authorities he was hit in the head by a tear-gas canister fired by police on the night of Oct. 25, but a probe of the incident by two teams of investigators is still continuing, said Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson.

What exactly happened on the night of Oct. 25 following the raid of the Occupy Oakland encampment at the plaza earlier that day is still unclear, Watson said. Asked if Olsen possibly fell and was not hit with a tear-gas canister as he has claimed, Watson said, "I have heard a lot of different possible ideas, and I think an investigation will certainly bring a sense of what did happen. I don't know what happened.

"Once we know, we will address that in the most appropriate fashion. If it's actions of the Oakland Police Department, we will certainly address that."
[...]
The Oakland Tribune requested that each agency provide the number of officers on the scene, their roles, where they were stationed and if they used nonlethal weapons. Every agency responded to the request, and none said their officers used nonlethal force such as tear gas. [What a shock.] There have also been published reports that Olsen was hit in the head with an object thrown by protesters.

On October 25, 2011, Scott Olsen, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran, and a member of Veterans for Peace, suffered a skull fracture caused by a projectile that witnesses believed was a tear gas or smoke canister fired by the police.[36][61]

A video by protesters shows the explosion of what appears to be a flash-bang device thrown by one officer near protesters attempting to aid Olsen.[62] The Associated Press later reported that it was not known exactly what kind of object had struck Olsen or who had thrown or fired it, but that protesters had been throwing rocks and bottles.[63] THE GUARDIAN REPORTED THAT A PROJECTILE FOUND NEAR WHERE OLSEN FELL WAS A SO-CALLED "BEAN BAG ROUND".[62] OLSEN WAS RUSHED TO THE HOSPITAL BY OTHER PROTESTERS, WHO WERE FIRED UPON WITH UNKNOWN POLICE PROJECTILES WHILE ATTEMPTING TO AID HIM.[37][64]
Bean bag rounds are used when a person is a danger to themself or others, but is not a direct threat in such a manner that deadly force would be appropriate. The round is intended to disable or stun the person without killing them. Fifty percent of cases are when the assailant has a bladed weapon. Nearly half of the uses also involve a suicidal and armed individual. The other half of the cases are during protests such as the Occupy Wall Street protest[citation needed]

Dangers

A bean bag round can severely injure or kill in a wide variety of ways. They have caused around a death a year since their introduction in the U.S.[2] A round can hit the chest, break the ribs and send the broken ribs into the heart. A SHOT TO THE HEAD CAN BREAK THE NOSE, CRUSH THE LARYNX OR EVEN BREAK THE NECK OR SKULL OF THE SUBJECT. This is why many officers are taught to aim for the extremities when using a bean bag round. A strike in the abdominal area can cause internal bleeding or strike the solar plexus which can disrupt breathing or heartbeat, but such a hit is generally safer than most other areas as well as presenting a larger target than an extremity. Fatalities are occasionally the result of mistaking other shotgun rounds for bean bags.[2]

So, a bean bag round was found near Scott Olsen after he was hit by something that caused an injury similar to what a bean bag round would cause, and after a cop was video-taped throwing a flash-bang into a crowd that was trying to help Olsen, and the Oakland police is still trying to determine what (if anything) hit Olsen, or if he just fell for no reason and hit his head on the ground! Maybe we can get AG Holder to investigate, as soon as he finishes covering up the ATF's role in supplying weapons to the Mexican drug cartels.