Former Marine’s skull cracked at ‘Occupy Oakland’ clash



In the video, the crack of a crowd-control projectile is followed by heavy smoke. People scream and run toward the smoke, converging near the ground over the body of a young man.

Another crack is heard and more smoke billows. Out of that plume, a crowd emerges carrying the man who appears bleeding and unresponsive.

The injured man has been identified as former Marine Cpl. Scott Olsen, who deployed twice to Iraq with Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines based out of Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Olsen, who was a tactical communications Marine,  got out of the Corps last year and landed a job in San Francisco as a systems administrator with the help of his friend and roommate, Keith Shannon, who was also a Marine.

Olsen was listed in stable but critical condition and it wasn’t known yet whether surgery would be performed.

“He has a two-inch skull fracture and swelling of the brain. When I saw him he was conscious but could only answer yes or no questions,” said Shannon, who was reached by phone at Highland General Hospital in Oakland, Calif., not far from the clash that took place Tuesday night between city police and members of the “Occupy Oakland” demonstration.

The news of Olsen’s injury and the fact that he was a former Marine was outlined in a press release from Iraq Veterans Against the War, IVAW, whose Bay Area chapter president, Dottie Guy, said Olsen was involved in the Occupy San Francisco movement.

When a call circulated for more protesters for the Oakland event, Olsen went there to participate. The group of demonstrators had been using a city plaza for its occupation for two weeks until police kicked them out on Tuesday.

Though Shannon was not there Tuesday night and did not see the clash, he said witnesses at the scene claim it was a “police projectile” which struck Olsen in the head. The Oakland Police Department has not yet responded to a request for information.




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  1. Listen you idiot cops. You are treading on thin ice here if you think that veterans/active troops are not gonna kick your asses. You are the domestic enemy that our oath was talking about and you will be dealt with.

  2. When the Police say to leave an area, and they are dressed in riot gear, it is a good indicator that you should follow that order and make a legal stink about it later. No different than when Marines in uniform would ask crowds to disperse in Iraq, in fact the cops have a closer connection to these folks so they have even more moral legitimacy. Cpl. Olsen was not hit without being warned to leave first.

  3. Lcpl Kniespeck on

    The only problem i am seeing with this video, is the lack of action by the police… the officers could see the man was down.. they took no action to attempt to aide him, the protesters were told to leave the area multiple times and they did not, it is unfortunate that this happened, the OPD needs to be better trained to spot critically injured people and NOT use less-lethal rounds towards someones head, that i beleive is against departmental policy

  4. Right before the crowd runs to the injured man, it appears as if someone runs to the right of the screen, bends and picks up something and throws it. After the faking of a protester being run over by a policeman on motorbike, I’m reserving judgement on just what injured this man

  5. I just found this website today, and I am interested in the assessment of its the regular readers. When our troops return in the upcoming months, how likely is it that none, some or most will join the OWS movement?

  6. Can anyone here explain to me why when it was obvious that there were people attempting to help a downed friend, the cops then picked that time to launch a tear gas grenade in the middle of the group? There is no honor in this. Those cops were out of line, and anyone who has read the bill of rights would know that.

  7. Disgusting.

    Don’t fight back Occupy, be peaceful like MLK and the Freedom Riders.

    Back up your buds!

    Lock arms & stand up for America.

    God Bless you all, you’re fighting for the 99%.

  8. OldSchool – I share your sentiment. I just can’t get my mind around why a cop would do that, especially in the name of public “safety.” Moreover, the firecracker/grenade didn’t just land in the middle of a group of people trying to assist an injured person, it also landed inches away from the man who was already injured.

    Additionally, I have worked with officers for many years, and the overwhelming majority are honorable public servants. Yet, this group in Oakland just watched what happened and did nothing. The were complicit by there inactivity. What a shame. They are certainly not representative of the majority of U.S. law enforcement.

  9. @FYI: You better back up those words with some substance before you slander a fellow Marine. He deserves better than to have baseless accusations thrown at him. Back it up.

  10. He served two tours. He was more than good enough that the Marines took him to fight a second time!

    Iraq 2005-6

    Afghanistan 2011

  11. It’s sickening to see the civilian police taking up arms against military servicemen and servicewomen like this. It seems to me that in some cities, too many peaceful protesters are facing heavy-handed tactics and violence from law enforcement. As someone already mentioned, they are treading on thin ice – afterall, all armed forces personnel that I know of take their oath VERY seriously, that is; that they will support and defend the CONSTITUTION of the United States against all enemies, foreign AND domestic…

  12. This is just sad and tragic. Sad in that two entities created to serve this country are at odds here….and tragic that it is so polarizing to the viewers. But I believe the OWS movement is inherent to polarization; as if the USA needs more divisiveness..sad.

  13. Why is the only Scott Olsen listed in MOL a retired Colonel? Could someone please confirm that Scott Olsen is indeed a Marine?

  14. While it seems clear that the police gave warnings, the people were engaged in peaceful protest, namely, their consitutional RIGHT of peaceful public assembly and free speech. What right did the police have to disperse the crowd? They cite unsanitary conditions and vandalism. These are spot incidents. Many protests attract hooligans who wreak havoc in any public gathering, and poison the cause. Nonetheless, the police crossed a clear line with their excessive force, randomly attacking bystanders and firing rubber bullets, which police chief Jordan said were not OPD-permitted, but had to have come from another, assisting police dept. Several departments assisted from surrounded cities.

  15. Prayers will be said in our house for you Cpl. Olsen. What happened to you brings great shame to our country.

    My family and I wish you a speedy and full recovery.

  16. If the police ask you to leave the area and afre out in force with riot gear, you should comply. This guy should have known better. The police have a job to do, just as he once had a job to do, before he joined several left wing anti war protest groups and set on a course to be a troublemaker. He does NOT represent the majority of our veterans. He put himslef in harms way and suffered the consequences

  17. I don’t at all feel sorry for him! He was rioting with a bunch of other marxist idiots. CS gas, bean bags, and batons > bottles, rocks! Stupid hurts! He shouldn’t be out there in a digi blouse and boonie cover!

    MEDIC!! lol

  18. Fmr5811 sounds like a person who doesn’t know what they are talking about, but doesn’t let that stop them from opening their mouth.

  19. Whatever Cpl. Olsen’s politics, it seems that the OPD panicked and fired projectiles into the crowd with no regard to their department’s use-of-force policy.

    That’s not good for anyone.

    I wish Cpl. Olsen a speedy recovery and was glad to hear his condition was upgraded.

  20. The cops did not target a military veteran, they targeted protesters who did not heed lawful orders to dispurse. Frankly, I am on the fence over if they used excessive force or not, but they did give warning before using said force. It is a shame Cpl. Olsen was hurt, but he should also have used his gray-matter to deduce the fact that he was out gunned in the incident and left when he could.

  21. He was indeed a marine, but discharged for cocaine usage, sounds like he has a problem with the law. No wonder why all of the news articles hype him up to be a wounded hero, and then in a small line write “he was discharged for undisclosed reasons.” then restate the fact that he served twice in Iraq.

  22. this is not what Service members should come home to. If the police doesn’t know the difference. Maybe a few Marines should give them a lesson

  23. Pingback: Oakland mayoral recall underway; Police issue statement; Cop who shot Olsen ID’d | COTO Report

  24. Allen Thompson on

    The 99%: Official list of Occupy Wall Street’s supporters, sponsors and sympathizers

    Communist Party USA


    Communist Party USA, OWS speech, The Daily Caller

    American Nazi Party


    Media Matters, American Nazi Party, White Honor, Sunshine State News

    Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran


    The Guardian, Tehran Times, CBS News

    Barack Obama


    ABC News, CBS News, ForexTV, NBC New York

    The government of North Korea


    Korean Central News Agency (North Korean state-controlled news outlet), The Marxist-Leninist, Wall Street Journal, Times of India

    Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam


    video statement (starting at 8:28), Black in America, Weasel Zippers, Philadelphia Weekly

    Revolutionary Communist Party


    Revolutionary Communist Party, Revolution newspaper, in-person appearance

    David Duke


    Talking Points Memo, video statement,

    Joe Biden


    Talking Points Memo, video statement, Mother Jones

    Hugo Chavez


    Mother Jones, Reuters,

    Revolutionary Guards of Iran


    Associated Press, FARS News Agency, UPI

    Black Panthers (original)


    in-person appearance, Occupy Oakland, Oakland Tribune

    Socialist Party USA


    Socialist Party USA, IndyMedia, The Daily Caller

    US Border Guard


    White Reference,, Gateway Pundit, Just Another Day blog

    Industrial Workers of the World


    IWW web site,, in-person appearances



    in-person appearance, Washington Post, CAIR, CAIR New York

    Nancy Pelosi


    Talking Points Memo, video statement, ABC News, The Weekly Standard

    Communist Party of China


    People’s Daily (Communist Party organ), Reuters,, The Telegraph


    Sources:, (2), (3), wikipedia


    Sources: (1), (2), (3)

    International Bolshevik Tendency

    Sources:, Wire Magazine



    Adbusters, The Guardian, video statement

    White Revolution


    International Socialist Organization


    Socialist Worker,, in-person appearance

    PressTV (Iranian government outlet)


    PressTV, wikipedia

    Marxist Student Union


    Marxist Student Union, Big Government,

    Freedom Road Socialist Organization


    FightBack News,



    ANSWER press release, ANSWER web site, Xinhua

    Party for Socialism and Liberation


    Liberation News (1),, The Daily Free Press, Liberation News (2)

  25. I belive the protestors have just as much to blame as the officer who fired upon Lcpl Olsen. Oakland has a proclivity for violence, and for referrence I cite the 2002 superbowl. When the Raiders won the division championships, oakland celebrated with a riot. When the raiders lost the superbowl, the responded with a riot. If it truly were a peaceful protest, Scott Olsen would not have been injured… plain and simple…

    It’s always a tragedy when we lose one of our own. In battle, it’s a necessary evil. At home, it is sad. But when it comes from a protest where Americans are clashing with Americans, it is absolutely uncalled for. I visited the rally in Occupy portland in my blues to pay my respects to Lcpl Olsen. They were passing out fliers condemning police violence, with the rally slogan, reminiscent of fight club, “I am Scott Olsen.” On the flier is the graphic image of his body, just after hitting the ground. His head bleeding, hands applying pressure, eyes glazed over. This image was passed out for anyone to see, and I call it poor taste. It was done purposely to invoke emotion, and the emotion invoked in my was an anger I could feel down to my bones. In the 5 years I served, I never was exposed to graphic images such as this. We typically memorialized a Marine with a picture of his life, maybe even something written by him or a loved one.

    I put shame on anyone who uses his tragedy as a rally point. To use his injuries as fuel for more anger and violence is a great disgrace for what he has done for his country. Protestors in portland who tried to occupy jamison square were looking to provoke use of force. I saw people screaming at the horses of the mounted patrol. If you spook a horse, and the cop falls off, you will get shot. There is no reason for clashing during a protest, and it is disgusting that you would use my brother as your mascot.

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