Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marine Scott Olsen Making Progress, Breathing on Own


Quan visits fallen Marine in hospital amid growing calls for her and Oakland Police Chief to resign

SF Gate
By Justin Berton
10/28/2011

OAKLAND --

Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old Iraq war veteran who suffered a head injury during Tuesday night's Occupy Oakland protest, was paid a visit by interim Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan on Friday.

    Olsen is in fair condition at Highland Hospital in Oakland and continues to improve, friends said. The Daly City resident is breathing on his own and is able to write notes to doctors and loved ones, but has trouble articulating words.

Marine Olsen was targeted by cops because he is a Marine
On Friday, Jordan said he had visited with Olsen and his parents.

"I expressed my sorrow for what happened to their son," Jordan said at a City Hall news conference. "They were very receptive. ... I also expressed to them the process that's involved in terms of this incident, in terms of a full review and internal investigation."

   
    Olsen's skull was fractured when he was hit by a projectile that apparently came from police lines. Olsen, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, was standing at the front of the crowd at 14th Street and Broadway when he fell to the ground.

    As other protesters came to Olsen's aid, an officer tossed another canister at the group, video of the incident shows.

    One of the protesters seen in the video, Claire Chadwick, 20, said she had been pleading with the officers to help Olsen when the device exploded at her feet.

Marine training in biological-chemical is extensive and mandatory
"They wouldn't help him," Chadwick said. "I'm still in shock by their response."

Fellow protesters rushed Olsen to Highland, where he was unconscious for 12 hours.

His brain was bruised, doctors said, and swelling continues to be a problem.

    Emily Yates, 29, a fellow Iraq Veterans Against the War member, said it was ironic that her friend Olsen - whom she described as a kind and gentle person - would suffer the most serious injury of anyone involved in Tuesday's protests.

    "I wasn't vocal enough in this movement until this happened to Scott," Yates said while attending a rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza on Friday. "This was enough to put me in the game."

E-mail Justin Berton at jberton@sfchronicle.com.



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