Injured Occupy Oakland Protester To File Claim Against City

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Scott Olsen, an Occupy Oakland protester seriously injured when he was allegedly hit in the head with a police projectile on Oct. 25, plans to file a claim against the city of Oakland, his attorney said Friday.

Olsen’s attorney, Mark Martel, said that evidence he has collected suggests that Olsen was hit with a beanbag round fired by police, suggesting that the round was intended to injure Olsen.

Filing the claim is likely the first step before Olsen files a lawsuit against the city, Martel said.

“It’s theoretically possible it could be resolved through the claims process but that rarely happens,” he said.

Martel said police told him that lead residue found on Olsen’s hat was consistent with a beanbag shot.

He also said that beanbag rounds were found around the area of 14th Street and Broadway, where Olsen was hit, on the night of the protest.  Police have admitted that beanbag rounds were used along with tear gas that night.

However, Martel said that police have not said which officer may have fired the round that hit Olsen, or even which of the over a dozen mutual aid agencies that participated in the police action at the protest.

“We’ll be able to find that out in a lawsuit if that information is not available,” he said.

The protest was in response to the police dismantling of an Occupy Oakland camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza that morning. Protesters gathered that afternoon and marched back to confront police who had the plaza barricaded.

For hours police fired tear gas, beanbag rounds, smoke grenades and possibly rubber bullets were fired at protesters attempting to reenter the plaza.

Since beanbag rounds are intended to be shot at people directly as a non-lethal deterrent, and not in the areas around people like tear gas or smoke grenades, Martel said the discovery that Olsen was shot with a beanbag round suggests that he was hit intentionally.

“It goes from a situation of recklessness or gross negligence,” Martel said, “to a situation where an officer has got him in his sights and fires to hit him.”

“These things are designed to be fairly accurate,” Martel said.

He also said that the short distance between police barricades and where Olsen was standing suggests that the officer was aiming directly at Olsen.

“You can see video to where the officers were relative to Scott and they weren’t very far away,” Martel said. “The officer who fired that thing was aiming at Scott.”

Olsen, an Iraq War veteran, suffered a skull fracture requiring surgery and brain damage that caused him to have difficulty speaking.

Oakland police did not immediately return calls for comment.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • PLW

    Let’s get this straight… Protesters forced to leave the park, then return to confront police…. Hours of smoke grenades, tear gas, bean bags, and possible rubber bullets were fired at protesters trying to reenter the plaza….Then one protestor gets injured by a wayward beanbag round fired by an unknown officer from an unknown law enforcement agency and Protesters start crying gross negligence…….. I know it is unheard of in the Liberal State of California, but just MAYBE protesters should obey the laws and not confront Police with an unruly Mob mentality!!!! NO COMMON SENSE!!!!!!! ANOTHER POSITIVE SIGN THAT JUSTIFYS BIRTH CONTROL……

  • Oakland Taxpayer

    Hopefully the Oakland Mayor, Council, and other city officials who promoted this Oakland Occupy fiasco get it. Instead of promoting Oakland’s attractions, promoting distractions leads to a lawyer who will fill his pockets with Oakland Tax monies that could have gone to Oakland services.

  • oldfart

    Lady Quan see what your progressive idiotic leadership has caused, If you had not listened to your husband and stopped this movement at it’s birth it never would have grown uncontrolled in the monster it later became , these injuries, millions in cost and national embarrassments would not be haunting you now.


    pay more attention to the crime, violence and gangs which include Occupy Oakland and you will be tolerated and possibly not recalled

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