Iraq veteran in critical condition after being shot in face by police in Oakland

Adam Gabbatt reports: I’ve just spoken to Keith Shannon, roommate of Scott Olsen, the Iraq veteran who is in hospital after apparently having been hit in the head by a police projectile.

Shannon said doctors told him Olsen has a “skull fracture and swelling of the brain”. A neurosurgeon will assess Olsen later today to determine whether he needs surgery, Shannon said.

Olsen, 24, was in 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, before leaving the military last year. He had been opposed to the Iraq war even before his first tour to the country, Shannon said. Shannon and Olsen met in November or December 2005, and share an apartment in Daly City, south of San Francisco.

“It’s really hard,” Shannon said. “I really wish I had gone out with him instead of staying home last night.”

Shannon, who is also 24, said he had seen the video footage showing Olsen lying on the floor as a police officer throws an explosive device near him.

“It’s terrible to go over to Iraq twice and come back injured, and then get injured by the police that are supposed to be protecting us,” he said.

Shannon said Olsen was hit in the head by a tear gas canister or smoke canister shot by a police officer. He said Olsen had a curved scar on his forehead consistent with a canister.

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One thought on “Iraq veteran in critical condition after being shot in face by police in Oakland

  1. Clif Brown

    there is so much said about the supposed shared characteristics of the United States and Israel, all of it highly questionable. But here we see what is truly a common situation – armed forces attacking non-violent protesters with potentially deadly results. What a thing to truly have in common. Fortunately, in the U.S. those who are taking the beating have rights under the law that are absent in the occupied territories.

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