Attorney: Hurt Occupy Protester Hit by Beanbag

Attorney speaks for Iraq War veteran injured at Occupy protest.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Scott Olsen believes he has new evidence that proves he was purposely hit by Oakland PD during a protest.

    An Occupy Oakland demonstrator that was injured during a protest last October was hit in the head by a beanbag, according to his attorney.

    Scott Olsen, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran, was injured Oct. 25, during a protest after police cleared an Occupy Oakland camp in front of Oakland City Hall.

    Originally, it was thought that Olsen was hit with a teargas canister.  However, attorney Mark Martel claims his client was intentionally shot in the head by an officer within 30 feet of Olsen.

    NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez just interviewed Olsen.  He says he was demonstrating peacefully the night he was injured.  He was only there 30 minutes before he was struck.  He didn't know what had happened at first and didn't realize the extent of his injuries until people started asking his name and he couldn't answer.  Now he's learned he may have been struck by a beanbag. 

    "It's a drag stabalized beanbag round.  They're enhanced for accuracy and more muzzle velocity, and they're meant to hit people," he said.  Olsen says he was standing 15 feet from police when he was struck.  "This is clearly not an accident...and considering the range they fired at, it's hard to buy it was an accident that it hit me in the head.  It's such a close range.  Those things are not too hard to aim," he added. 

    "I think we should all get justice.  I would like to see someone in handcuffs over this because I think a crime has been committed," he said. 

    Jodi Hernandez has confirmed that Olsen and his attorney were given confirmation of the beanbag shot two weeks ago by an Oakland Police Department investigator. 

    The investigator told them they determined it was a beanbag, after analyzing markings on the hat that Olsen was wearing on the night he was injured.

     

    Hernandez also spoke to Tom Frazier, the president of the independent group hired to look into how the city handled the Occupy protests.

    Frazier tells NBC Bay Area, "If he (Olsen) was in fact hit by a beanbag, he would want to know who fired it, and why, and did it meet the standards of the use of force agreement that had been previously agreed to."

    Frazier added, "There is more investigation to be done.  When all that is done, we will come to some conclusions, but it's premature at this point."

    The Frazier Group is currently reviewing all the videos and other reports from the Oakland Police Department, and contributing departments, and will have the results of their investigation completed by the end of April.

    Meanwhile, an Oakland Police Department spokesperson tells NBC Bay Area, that their investigation is ongoing, and once it's completed, they will release their report to the public in an effort to remain transparent.