Did Oakland Police Intentionally Shoot Marine Vet Scott Olsen In the Head?

George Washington's picture

The following photograph on videos show that Marine veteran Scott Olsen was peacefully standing at the Oakland protest when police fired a projectile at him:


Here is a photo of the ammunition or projectiles which police shot at the Oakland protesters:


Karl Denninger argues that the police intended to hit Olsen in the head:

One ex-Marine -- a combat veteran -- took a rubber round in the head. He is in critical condition and may die. That was not a mistake; that was aimed fire and an intentional assassination. Sorry folks, that's facts - from 50' you don't "miss" and hit someone in the head with these things if you're shooting for the legs or other non-vital parts. He was shot in the head by someone who aimed for the head. Those projectiles are not "non-lethal" and the bomb thrown by a cop at the people trying to come to his assistance after he fell wasn't tossed accidentally either.

A marine says that Oakland used crowd control methods that are prohibited in war zones, and that the shot must have been intentional:

Before gas goes into a crowd shield bearers have to be making no progress moving a crowd or crowd must be assaulting the line. Not with sticks and stones but a no bullshit assault. 3 warnings must be given to the crowd in a manner they can hear that force is about to be used. Shield bearers take a knee and CS gas is released in grenade form first to fog out your lines because you have gas masks. You then kick the canisters along in front of your lines. Projectile gas is not used except for longer ranged engagement or trying to steer the crowd ( by steering a crowd I mean firing gas to block a street off ). You also have shotguns with beanbags and various less than lethal rounds for your launchers. These are the rules for a WARZONE!!

How did a cop who is supposed to have training on his weapon system accidentally SHOOT someone in the head with a 40mm gas canister? Simple. He was aiming at him.

I'll be the first to admit a 40mm round is tricky to aim if you are inexperienced but anyone can tell the difference between aiming at head level and going for range.

The person that pulled that trigger has no business being a cop. He sent that round out with the intention of doing some serious damage to the protestors. I don't care what the protestors were doing. I never broke my rules of engagement in Iraq or Afghanistan. So I can't imagine what a protester in the states did to deserve a headshot with a 40mm. He's damn lucky to be alive and that cop knows he was using lethal force against a protester he is supposed to be protecting.

A poster at Occupy Marines Facebook makes the following comment:

You can see Scott Olsen standing, with his BACK TOWARDS THE COPS moments before being shotWatch close- the guy who shot him can be seen backing away from the fence and lowering his shotgun (he musta been less then 5 feet from Scott when he shot him in the head....) he then goes behind two other cops and THROWS THE FLASH BANG himself at the people trying to save them. (the other two cops don't move, but this guys steps back and then forward just as the flash bang is tossed - other two cops in that section don't even twitch as the flashbang is tossed)

Same Guy shot him and then tossed the FlashBang at the people trying to save him.

The policemen firing seemed to be having a little too much fun:



A protester also says the police shot him with a rubber bullet when he helped carry Scott Olsen to safety after he had been injured:


The Oakland police violated their own rules (page 9), and they would have violated the Geneva Convention against targeting wounded combatants or those attempting to render medical aid.

No wonder even Amnesty International has condemned the use of tear gas as well as the actions of Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland, who said the measures were justified because protesters threw rocks. Although the Obama administration and the Department of Justice has shown no interest in investigating.

As Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas - who stood up to the New York police - notes:

I was involved in a RIOT in Rutbah, Iraq 2004 and we did NOT treat the Iraqi citizens like they are treating the unarmed civilians in our OWN Country. No one was brutalized because our mission was to 'WIN the hearts and minds.' why should I expect anything less in my OWN Country.


Olsen is a decorated veteran, who was an extremely hard-working network engineer:

Scott Olsen, 24, joined the protests as he worked his day job as a network engineer and left his apartment each night to sleep alongside protesters in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., Keith Shannon said.


Olsen, who is originally from Wisconsin, served two tours of duty in Iraq, makes a good living at a San Francisco software company and had a hillside apartment that overlooks San Francisco Bay.


Each night, he would go out to the tent camps that have sprung up over the past month in cities as the movement spread to protest economic inequality and what they see as corporate greed.


People at OPSWAT, the company where Olsen works, were devastated after learning of his injuries. They described him as a humble, quiet guy who worked hard over long hours.

"He's been a big piece of what we do here and our growth strategy, so obviously it's pretty devastating for us that he's in the shape he's in," said Jeff Garon, the company's director of marketing.

Olsen was awarded seven medals while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, which he left as a lance corporal in November 2009 after serving for four years.

He went on two tours in Iraq, one in 2006-2007 and another in 2008, where he worked as a datanetwork specialist. He was awarded seven medals, including the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, according to the Marine Corps.

Olsen's condition has been upgraded from critical to "fair", although neurologists say that he may require brain surgery.


The increasing militarization of U.S. police departments is clearly the problem (more).

In October 2010, the Oakland Tribune reported:

An Oakland police SWAT team finished second in a prestigious, internationally known training competition this past weekend, losing out to a group of Israeli police but beating more than two dozen other Bay Area law enforcement agencies that participated.

Indeed, the Alameda County Sheriff has hosted some of these Swat competitions (Oakland is in Alameda County, California).

And the militarization of police forces throughout the United States cannot be taken in a vacuum. The bigger pictures is that the government is using anti-terrorism laws to crush dissent.

Some are comparing police brutality towards the Occupy protesters to that used by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters. Indeed, numerous heads of U.S. police departments have traveled to Israel for "anti-terrorism training", and received training from Israeli anti-terrorism experts visiting the U.S. See this, this, this, this.


Veterans are not amused by an attack on one of their own:



Apparently, veterans led the march to re-occupy Oakland after Olsen was injured.

And see this.


Anonymous released a video in support of Olsen:


The group also temporarily took down the Oakland police website, and released personal information about Oakland police officers.


And the Mayor of Oakland has now done an about-face, saying the protesters can stay and that she "supports" them.

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Ranger4564's picture


Kayvan Sabeghi, 32,

The second Iraq war veteran hospitalized after a confrontation at an Occupy Oakland protest wasn't participating in the demonstration when he was injured and arrested, a friend and colleague said Saturday.

Kayvan Sabeghi, 32, had joined in a march the day before but was only trying to get home when he was beaten by police early Thursday, said Esther Goodstal, who co-owns a brewery with Sabeghi in nearby El Cerrito.

howardtlewisiii's picture

  Yes, a policeman shot him from a very short distance and YES at least 4 or 5 other policemen saw it and are lying to protect the offending officer. The entire lot should be fired and imprisoned for felonious assault and accomplices.

howardtlewisiii's picture

  Yes, a policeman shot him from a very short distance and YES at least 4 or 5 other policemen saw it and are lying to protect the offending officer. The entire lot should be fired and imprisoned for felonious assault and accomplices.

howardtlewisiii's picture

  Yes, a policeman shot him from a very short distance and YES at least 4 or 5 other policemen saw it and are lying to protect the offending officer. The entire lot should be fired and imprisoned for felonious assault and accomplices.

johnjb32's picture

All over this nation, honorable warriors are showing up place their bodies in harm's way. This is what will turn the tide. -- Michael C. Ruppert



Bastiat's picture

Just looking at that video again--that sailor had some stones--when the police assault started, and before Olsen got hit, the sailor had walked right up to the barricade facing the cops -- not much more than arms length.  That might have saved him--even the most real-world challenged, weapons-ignorant, consensus-biased, MSM-drenched dope might have to acknowledge the shot was deliberate if the muzzle of the weapon was within 2 feet of the victim - which it would have been in his case.

Oakland cops can be rough, the work in a rough town, but this has nothing to do with that. This is a felonious assault, possibly an attempted assassination. We don't know that the shooter was an Oakland cop.  I look forward to finding out. 





boiltherich's picture

Scott is not even 12 feet from the barricade, look at where his feet are from the man right up against the fence, if Olsen is 6ish feet tall that is not even two body lengths distance.  All other thoughts and arguments as to the behavior of the police are irrelevant, they should not have been there in the first place.  Had Madame mayor cunt thought the crowd unsanitary or unduly placing themselves in danger then it was her obligation to meet with the people to address those concerns, which would have included the installation of port a potties or the 24 hour access to one of the city hall restrooms.  A few retired or off duty cops to patrol the situation to assure citizens are not being harmed or threatened would not have broken Oakland, or should I say if Oakland finances are in such shit shape a few extra foot patrols to safeguard the OWS people then perhaps it is time for the town to file bankruptcy.  And anyway they can't claim the city had no funds for the safety and sanitation of the OWS protesters when they were able to find many thousands more to hire 500 cops to come shoot at them.  The protesting citizens had as much right to be there as that whore bitch mayor has to show up at city hall and "occupy" her office.

DavidPierre's picture


The Pig who shot Olsen in Oakland OWS demonstration has been outed...


Bastiat's picture

Scroll down and look carefully at the photo: Bergstressor is HUGE and he also holds a baton - the little guy next to him looks to carrying a short shoulder weapon.



And I don't know why these guys on underthemountain bunker talk about someone 'throwing" a tear gas cannister.  If you go to the 1st youtube clip at the top of this thread, the one posted by GW, and play it full screen in 1080, about 1:40 in where the narrator says "watch this policeman" you can see the man stand up from his "marksman" position with elbow resting on the barricae, you can see the weapon, and you can see him give an underhand toss of the stund grenade when he gets to the back ranks of the cops (what the narrator is pointing out).  The big thing here to me is not just the grenade but he clearly had a shoulder weapon, which looks very much like a grenade launcher, and he sure looks like he'd been taking careful aim with it, leaning on the barricade.   I'll say it again: assassin, not a hothead.

Bastiat's picture

The cop who backed away from the barricade, then tossed the stun greanade with a surreptitious underhanded flip as he slipped away does not look like Bergstressor to me.  This same guy prior to the grenade toss was leaning on the barricade with his weapon (likey the grenade launcher) as one would taking aim.  He's the guy.  He looks much shorter than Bergstressor who was huge.  Also Bergstressor, being  from the San Francisco Sheriff's Department likely did not know most of the other cops there (from like 15 agencies).  No reason to bring down hell on this guy just because his name was readable, wtf?

The guy acted like an assassin, taking his shot, slipping to the back, then sneakily tossing the stun grenade for good measure.  It won't surprise me if he never gets identified, but I can hope. 

DavidPierre's picture

In the time honoured tradition of ameriKlan assassinations a 'Patsy' will be used to cover the asses of the Nazi overlords who actually call the shots.  This pig  is as good as any... he will do just fine to sacrifice to the masses as a symbol to be crucified and wash away all  sin.

Bastiat's picture

I hear ya but the 1080 HD video tells no lies.

taxi952's picture

I know that is not lieing but there is no need for shooting. Ia man it is a shame.To many shooting games for me

Bastiat's picture

Interesting, we'll see if it's confirmed and who he works for. 

besnook's picture

does anyone know....who shot scott? he needs to be outed and his life made miserable as a message to all cops who might do the same thing.

Bastiat's picture

Who Shot Scott?  Exactly who, what agency (ies) did he work for. Was it a personal decision to point that weapon at a mans head from 20-30 feet away or were there orders?  Did the same guy throw the flashbang at the rescuers?  If not, who did that? 


thedrickster's picture

Whomever threw the flash bang at his rescuers should be brought to the Hague.

Whomever fired....well....use your imagination.

Floordawg's picture

When I first heard of this event in Oakland (knowing a handful of OPD cops personally) I sadly thought, "well that makes sense." As an example, here's some of their handy-work from an anti-war protest in 2003:


I know that womans face well because the photo of her massive contusion was proudly placed as a desktop background on one of the OPD cops I mentioned personal laptop computers. I know his laugh well.

At this point, I only hear mention of Scott Wilson in the blogosphere (thanks to ZH), but it needs to reach more Americans. Mr. Wilson, being a 2 tour Iraq war vet fuels this story into quite the powder keg... could it rightfully turn into a Mohamed Bouazizi sized uprising with enough people sickened by the use of force on a peaceful, unarmed man?

We like-minded, justice seeking people can dream... and spread the word.

Bastiat's picture

"Olsen," dawg; Scott Olsen.  Great info and link, thanks.

Strawboss's picture
Thomas Jefferson (yes - that Thomas Jefferson) wrote:

The tree of LIberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

I believe that current events are exactly what Jefferson had in mind.

The 1% that control this country (financiers, bankers, politicians, etc...) have sold out this country and the ideals it has stood for. They have made a mockery of our Constitution. They disregard our laws. They have no respect for individual citizens or liberty. In their eyes, we are simply cattle that they can exploit for their own greedy purposes.

The 1%ers are guilty of treason. Unfortunately, the system will NOT hold them accountable. If you dont believe me on this, consider this.

In the financial crisis, trillions and trillions of dollars were spent/injected into the system to prevent it from collapsing - much of it needed to counteract the effects of fraud.

You can count on 1 hand the number of people that have been prosecuted as a result of the financial crisis. Thats right. Less than 5. And none of them are even close to senior management of these multinational banks that are responsible for all the problems that we face.

They have taken control of all the insitutions of power (financial, political, media, educational) and they will not relinquish their control without a fight.

Thomas Jefferson was right - and his opinion as a Founding Father of this country is worthy of our consideration and respect.

tim73's picture

What you except from these dumbasses. American cops usually go through maybe only seven months of training. He or she is not much more than glorified security guard.

In most European countries the training lasts usually 2-3 years and rambos/psychos are taken out in the selection process.

moneymutt's picture

True, I think this lack of professionalism and brutality has been tolerated and allowed because it has been mostly directed at black community.

Imagine the surprise of the OPD when they did to this demonstration the sme thing they have done to black people for decades but got into trouble for it this time. The use of flash bang grenades, disproportionate dumb force, raiding people at 4 am when they are most sleepy, so there is most mayhem and confusion are tried and true tactics used on black community by Oakland PD.

It is no coincidence that the Black Panther Party was born in Oakland. The Black panthers carried legal guns and legally video recorded cops from legal distances in an attempt to stop the unchecked police brutality. Their main focus initially was checking OPD.

hedlykarok's picture

"When policemen break the law, then there isn't any law - just a fight for survival"       - Billy Jack

Cman5000's picture

Most of the mayors ordering crack downs are Democrats... It doesn't matter who you or what party your in or no party.  " Your a threat to the system "

silverboy hong kong's picture

Fuck da police!!! So I suggest we all take out a bunch of loans and credit cards...and all default on them...our private bailout bitchez!!!

Mansizedtarget's picture

This communist rabble needs to be destroyed along with the bankers. 

hedlykarok's picture

Then who would be left to run things? The church? God?

Yes, they have such a long and prestigious record of fairness and respect for life.

Mansizedtarget's picture

I can't say I'm too maudlin about this.  This communist OWS rabble needs to be sorted out.  They're a dead end and a bunch of losers.

hedlykarok's picture

Unlike you who are so full of solutions.

razorthin's picture

I don't care who you are or what you believe, this is just plain wrong.

bill1102inf's picture

I am a veteran, and also very pissed off. If you are wondering why there has not been more backlash by vets, here is why, we fought an insurgency, we fought folks who blend in with the population very well, just like the police and politicians. We will engage the enemy at a time and place of our choosing, where there is only the possibility of one outcome, our victory.

High Plains Drifter's picture

uh hmm. please explain how this will be accomplished. 

thedrickster's picture

A cursory read of history says the coup is coming.

Why exactly didn't Patreus run for Pres?

bill1102inf's picture

When you see the police in handcuffs you will start to get an idea.

High Plains Drifter's picture

oh so you believe in the rule of law , i deduce?  hmmmm...........

BorisSDT's picture

I wish there'd be some blood on the other side of the aisle.

1.) Current politicians - execution
2.) Wall st. bankers - execution
3.) Cops that attack peaceful protestors - execution

swamp's picture


swamp's picture

Right to bear arms saves right to free speech.

Awesome phoenix ak-15 in action.


bill1102inf's picture

**********MUST WATCH!***************


No one is going to shoot a civilian in the face with these guys around.


geekgrrl's picture

Thanks GW for yet another informative post.

I can't tell you how heartening it is to see the support of service folk in the OWS effort, and it strikes me as ironic that one the of most flagrant examples of police brutality was directed towards a Vet. I heard Scott is expected to make a complete recovery, so that is encouraging.

The cop should go to prison after being convicted of attempted murder.

This is a weird spot in history. I feel like the military protestors are a better defender of our Constitutional rights than the local goon squads setup to silence all dissent. It's starting to feel a bit fascist here.

BarrySoetoro's picture

Wow.  How convenient that the person being videotaped was the same person - out of all those thousands of people - who got nailed in the head.  And how convenient that this cameraman, who had been paying so much attention to this guy, just happened to miss it when the guy got hit. 
Sorry to shatter your stick-it-to-the-man illusions, but the police were within their rights to ask these people to get the hell out of there.  They told this mob of retards to pack up and go, and they did it several times.  It was a legal order, and the mob defied it.  But things didn't heat up until they started lobbing bottles, paint, and piss at the police.  Guess what?  I don't pay the police to make suggestions to mobs.  I don't pay them to lose street-fights.  I don't pay them to get pushed around by a mob of smelly, malcontent drug-addicts and perennial failures.   If this douchebag was hell-bent on aligning himself with trust-fund revolutionaries, gang-bangers, tweakers, and lippy twinks who pranced over from the Castro, he doesn't have any business complaining about the consequences.  When the police give an order, you follow it.  Doing so will ensure you have the ability - unlike this flake - to walk into the police station the next day on your own two feet and file a complaint.

Maybe GW will get himself the Leni Riefenstahl lifetime achievement in propaganda award for this ridiculous post.

DeeDeeTwo's picture

I just read this post worried about the Olsen Twins. As long as the girls are OK, the Marxist Olsen poseurs can die, baby. 

Milton Waddams's picture

Here is something that needs to be questioned and answered- just before SO was shot nearly dead blank in the face, some sort of 'grenade' moves from right to left - or from the 'occupiers' position to the police line.  


This looks to be fired from 30-50 feet behind SO and landed well behind the front line of the police presence.  Immediately afterward the police response occurred.  

Who launched it?

Goner's picture

If you watch the full videos you can see the police are throwing smoke. This is NOT an explosive or irritant and only used to obscure vision. The protesters are picking them up and throwing them back. Questions answered.

There is no excuse for a trained officer to hit a civilian 20 feet away in the face. There is no excuse for a trained officer to toss an explosive device into a crowd of people coming to give medical aid 20 feet away. It breaks several standing orders as well as conventional rules.

connda's picture

I've seen three pictures of people hit with rubber bullets during OWS demonstrations, and everyone of them has been a "head shot".  WTF!  Protect and Serve my ass. 

I think the US is slowly working toward another "Kent State moment" (if you're not old enough that Kent State rings a bell, Google Kent State Shooting that happen on May 4, 1970.  That was a game changer.

Arkadaba's picture

I know I may be slaughtered for this but for my generation, Kent State did squat. It should have been a game changer but wasn't. I was a toddler when that happend and and since then ... well yeah.

Cathartes Aura's picture

no junks from me, but I wanted to add that "Kent State" was a game changer for many, in that they "woke up" from the deep myths of this nationstate's history, and began to act accordingly - as individuals, not "loyal amrkns" or somesuch.

the same thing happens everywhere, and is happening even now - individuals absent themselves from the "beliefs" of the herd, withdraw their support, stop waving the flags, dis-appear - it's all we have in the end, our own points-of-views, our own realities, and honour.