Oakland’s independent police review body is to investigate how clashes between Occupy Oakland protesters and police left an Iraq war veteran with potentially life-threatening injuries. Scott Olsen, 24, had to be rushed to hospital with a fractured skull and possible swelling on the brain after he was allegedly hit on the head by a police tear gas canister.
A hospital spokesman has confirmed that Olsen is in a critical condition in hospital, with a neurosurgeon expected to examine him and decide whether to operate. Footage appears to show some kind of device being thrown at protesters who had gathered around the severely injured, bleeding Olsen. Police have insisted that they did not use such devices, but the video has been spreading online throughout the course of the day.
In a statement, the group Veterans For Peace said that while most police had acted with restraint, a minority had behaved differently. It seems that there is now a straight-out contradiction between police who say they did not use so-called ‘flash bang grenades’ and protesters who say that they did. There are now fresh concerns as tension rises at the Occupy Oakland site.