Scott Olsen Made It Through Two Tours and Gets Shot By American Cops

Because the natural reaction of getting pelted with paint is to shoot someone in the face

I have previously blogged about the dangers inherent in less than lethal munitions (read rubber bullets). Shooting someone is the head with one is as good as using real bullets when it comes to killing capability. It is one of the reasons that before issuing those types of weapons to Soldiers, we have to re-qualify with the ammo in a wide variety of simulated combat conditions. If I or one of my Soldiers were to shoot a kid in the head under similar circumstances, I would likely go to jail (Do not pass GO, Do not collect $200).

Apparently the bar is set lower in Oakland. Even after the mayor, in response to the backlash on the violent crackdown by cops, is now preaching sympathy for the 99% there has yet to be any repressions on the unit, commander, or individual responsible for putting 24 year old Iraqi War Vet, Scott Olsen in the hospital for a skull fracture allegedly from a rubber bullet. This is unacceptable.

This is what happens when decision makers and leaders are not present during a crisis. Mayor Jean Quan had left the city of Oakland and didn’t know about the raid, having entrusted that responsibly to lower echelons of leadership.

Now some have been blaming the crowd for not reacting timidly to the cops’ raid. I say bullshit. Large crowds without definitive leadership are NOT rational actors in a force on force situation (compared to the peaceful act of protesting). We revert to instincts and emotion, which is why the army trains its leaders to be able to distance their minds from the fight in order to understand the entire situation and act accordingly. Very few crowds ever react well to the implantation of force until the effects of that force (almost always violent) breaks the crowd. This is the result. The cops, unless they were completely untrained in riot control, knew this would happen.

Get well soon Scott.

*note: Some sources say that Scott  was struck by a tear gas container (which should be shot in a high arc to let the projectile slow a bit), OWS protestors have posted pictures of rubber bullets reported to have been used. The police say that they used “Less than lethal force, including tear gas,” which implies that other options being used. Which could range from mace to bumble bee anti-riot grenades.

(Source: Mediaite)


  1. wilsim says

    Yeah i caught this yesterday on another FTB post. My rage hasn’t subsided. Do they really think all the protests will remain peaceful if they continue to bring violence?

  2. wilsim says

    Was thinking there has to be some way to short circuit the “anything goes” attitude many police have. A way to circumvent the protection of the herd the bad cops get by hiding behind the good cops who won’t turn them in.
    I have always found it ridiculous that city and counties have to pay lawsuit settlements resulting from police brutality.

    I know this never has a chance but…
    What if police settlements have to be paid out of the police pensions/general fund? I bet the violence would end, quick.

  3. macallan says

    Do they really think all the protests will remain peaceful if they continue to bring violence?

    Nope, and that’s the idea. Beat them till someone hits back, then point fingers and whine about violent protesters. Another favourite is to bring in cops with little to no experience in riot control from areas where popular support for the protest in question is low to non-existant – purely by coincidence of course.
    Anyone over 20 who didn’t see that pattern before must have been living under a rock.

  4. ema says

    As fellow protesters tried to assist him, police lobbed a flash grenade into their midst–right next to Olsen’s already fractured skull.

    Also unacceptable.

  5. says

    I seriously have to wonder about the police here. In the past two years we have had police: accidentally, but negligently, shoot and kill Oscar Grant, kill a homeless person in what might have been excessive force (this one is admittedly hard to tell), shutting down cell/internet service in an attempt to stop an Anonymous protest, and now this.

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