Montreal police will investigate after a 22-year-old man said his eye was badly injured by the blast of a police stun grenade during Wednesday’s student protest over tuition fee hikes.
Francis Grenier, a student at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, told CBC News from his hospital bed that he doesn’t know if he’ll regain vision in his right eye.
Student movement leaders are calling him a victim of police brutality and are accusing riot squad officers of overreacting after snowballs were launched during the afternoon protest on Sherbrooke Street.
Grenier said he was in front of the Loto-Québec headquarters Wednesday afternoon playing the harmonica when an officer told him to leave.
TVA also reports that apparently after Grenier ran from the scene badly injured to find help from a police officer, the officer refused to help him or to call him an ambulance. He was eventually helped to the hospital by fellow students.
Records reveal that the #OPD put officers with histories of using deadly force on the frontlines during Occupy Oakland protests.
84-year-old Occupy Seattle participant Dorli Rainey, pictured above after being pepper sprayed by Seattle Police on November 15th.
She later wrote about the incident:
“Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate. As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out. Especially since only yesterday the City Government made a grandiose gesture to protect free speech. Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me. In the women’s movement there were signs which said: “Screw us and we multiply.’”
Oakland police are to be the subject of a formal investigation after Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull at an Occupy Oakland protest last week.
Oakland’s Citizens’ Police Review Board is launching the investigation after it received a complaint on Friday. Police in Oakland are bracing themselves for a general strike on Wednesday, which has been announced by the city’s Occupy movement and is expected to cause disruption across the city.
Olsen, 24, was seriously injured after being hit on the head by a police projectile. He is still in hospital and unable to talk, communicating only through short written messages.
A source at the review board said the investigation will begin in the next few days, and is expected to last “several months”…
Thousands of Occupy protesters are expected to gather in Oakland for the general strike and mass day of action on Wednesday. The strike aims to “shut down” the city, culminating with a march to the Port of Oakland to prevent the transit of cargo.
"Oakland was the site of the last general strike in the US," said protester Tim Simons, at a press conference on Monday.
"On Wednesday, we’re going to make history once again. We’re going to make Oakland proud."
A non-profit community service where police officers can go to help them rehabilitate and find replacement jobs that don’t require them to be morally reprehensible. Kinda like “Cops Anonymous.”
I wonder if this would increase the amount of people who can leave, like the two officers in Denver rumoured to have quit over police treatment of protesters. There are plenty of instances where cops have said that what is happening to protesters is “heartbreaking.” Perhaps this would help. I can’t imagine quitting a stable job is easy to do in this economy.
Does this sort of thing exist somewhere?
Here’s the thread on the Officer.com forums, a popular spot for police from different departments around the world to gather and chat about… being assholes, presumably. A veritable wellspring of the best of humanity, to be sure.
Anyway, there are a few gems:
If it was a cannister…it must have bounced. Surely a direct hit from the cannister would have killed him. Before any deployment of “less lethal” riot control, there is an announcement and a way out…if you disregard the announcement…you are fair game.
Is he a soldier? I hope the Navy dude and him get court martialed if they are active duty.
Media is going crazy with this. He is a Iraq war vet. Mayor called for dispersement…and now is apologizing because someone got hurt! Duh! She just got into the position and is as wishy washy as all heck.
[This user’s forum signature is priceless: “This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can’t desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you’ve made.”]
But it is ironic that so many that claim first amendment rights are so willing to ignore everyone else’s and the law. Anarchists are the most confused people on Earth, they want rights when it suits them and ignore laws when it suits them. If they really were anarchists then might makes right, if you lose, tough crap. If a hundred thugs rape you and take all your stuff that’s too bad but they cry bloody murder if they think someone is infringing on their speech.
This is the type of ex military these things usually attract. Being his roomdog got hemmed up also screams ‘drugs’ to me. way to serve ‘honorably’ azzhat.
Well we know this idiot wasn’t a veteran of combat. He would have learned how to duck.
Maybe he should have smoked less weed and snorted less coke and his reaction time could have been a lot better and he could have avoided the canister.
And to be fair, there is a voice of reason…
He did two tours of duty in Iraq.
You know…the kid made a poor choice and got hurt. and probably for a dumb reason. It was an unfortunate accident. I’m not saying you should feel sorry for him, but at least say a prayer for his family. not like you care, but his condition has improved. His brain is no longer swelling.
People’s smartass comments here and general meaness is pretty ugly.
… but he gets shutdown by someone else in fairly short order:
If you have worked in the field you would understand. But to let you in on a little secret, cops and firefighters laugh and make jokes about a lot of messed up stuff. :P
BTW the guy is still an idiot IMO.
With people “serving and protecting” like this, it’s no wonder why some people say that ACAB.
Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran injured during police attempts to clear Occupy Oakland on Tuesday, has given a sign of appreciation for the wave of goodwill shown by fellow protesters across the US.
Olsen’s roommate, Keith Shannon, said the 24-year-old gave a “thumbs-up” after being told of the support he has received – which has included vigils across the US and marches against police brutality.
Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull when he was apparently being struck by a police projectile on Tuesday and is unable to talk. Officers from more than 15 different police agencies were involved in operations in Oakland on Tuesday, which included the use of tear gas and ‘less lethal’ weapons.
Shannon said he had visited Olsen on Sunday, and told him of the reaction to his injuries across the hundreds of Occupy protests. “He gave a thumbs-up,” Shannon said.
Olsen was hit on the right side of the head, damaging the speech centre of the brain. Video footage showed a police officer throwing a non-lethal explosive near to a stricken Olsen as fellow protesters came to his aid.
Shannon told the Guardian that Olsen is still communicating via written notes – although these tend to be short – and that Olsen’s spelling has suffered since he was injured.“He only really writes when he needs something,” Shannon said. Olsen keeps a notepad and pen beside him on the bed to issue the messages, which often consist of just one word.
From NBC Bay Area:
A website claiming to be the official site of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan appeared recently, mimicking the official Oakland website entirely, but adding a statement of support for “Occupy Oakland” demonstrations that did not come from Quan, according to officials in the mayor’s office.
But the website has added a fabricated letter purportedly from Quan apologizing to protesters for the police response to protests Tuesday, where the Occupy Oakland encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza were raided, resulting in dozens of arrests, and police used tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke grenades to keep protesters away from the plaza later that night.
"I offer my sincere apology for ordering the violent repression of the Occupy Oakland encampment in front of city hall," the fake statement stated.
The letter, which was also distributed at Occupy Oakland demonstrations, went on to say that Quan endorsed Occupy Oakland’s calls for a general strike in Oakland on Nov. 2. The mayor’s office released a statement Saturday clarifying that the letter was “bogus.”
Some gems from the “fake” letter:
The Occupy Oakland general assembly has called for a general strike on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, and I heartily endorse this call. The Occupy Oakland encampment was just the kind of experiment in mutual aid and direct democracy that is needed. And a general strike could bring this to a new level. In fact, I want to up the ante to show I’m on the right side of history again.
Oakland was the last city in the U.S. to have a general strike, in 1946, and it was known as a “work holiday.” This harks back to the first call for a general strike in 1832: William Benbow’s pamphlet, “Grand National Holiday,” in which he called a month‐long strike. I propose we do that! … There’s plenty of wealth to go around. We just have to share it… I say ban the banks and abolish money. The people are breaking out of their acquiescence. They can make decisions over their own lives. The Occupy Oakland encampment prefigured a way of life that makes the status quo obsolete. Instead of an exploitative system based on the buying and selling of things and our time, let us create a life of ease, gaeity and pleasure for all, as William Benbow originally suggested. Let us not only shut the city down. Let us take it over and run it in a wholly new way. Together we can make every day a holiday.
If only this were accurate…
“It’s not every day you get to see a night court magistrate smack down the governor of Tennessee,” a legal observer said outside the Metro Courthouse at 2:30 a.m. today, as fog shrouded downtown in mist.
Yet that’s what happened in the early morning hours, as Metro Night Court Judge Tom Nelson told the troopers who arrested 25 peaceful Occupy Nashville protesters at midnight on Legislative Plaza — along with Scene reporter Jonathan Meador, who was attempting to get off the plaza when he was cuffed and hauled off — that the curfew being enforced at the Capitol had no constitutional grounds whatsoever.
“I have reviewed the regulations of the state of Tennessee, and I can find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza,” Judge Nelson told a grimacing trooper, before ordering the immediate release of everyone arrested.
Some 30 additional protesters greeted those released with cheers and chants of “This is how democracy works!” They were last seen at 4 a.m. marching victoriously up Deaderick Street — back to Legislative Plaza.
Meador, meanwhile, greeted news of his imminent release with a tweet from custody: “Can I go home now?” His request of a ride home from Gov. Haslam for the inconvenience was met with silence.
The photo above, taken by Jay Finneburgh, shows Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen being carried away after he was struck in the head by a tear gas canister thrown by Oakland police during last night’s raid on Occupy Oakland.
Video shot at the scene shows police throwing a flash grenade into the crowd as other protesters rush to help him:
Olsen did two tours of duty in Iraq and is a current member of Veterans for Peace. He’s now listed in critical but stable condition with swelling of the brain and a skull fracture. He is also on a respirator due to the doctors sedating him in order to evaluate the possible injury to his brain.
From The Guardian:
Keith Shannon, who served with Olsen in Iraq, arrived at the hospital after protesters contacted him through Facebook. He confirmed Olsen had a fractured skull, and said he had been told by a doctor Olsen also had brain swelling. A neurosurgeon was due to assess Olsen to determine if he needed surgery, Shannon said.
“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.
This is utter brutality. Scott Olsen enlisted in the military, fought for the U.S. in combat, and is thanked for it with a severe head injury while defending his fellow citizens from police action at home. Veterans for Peace have stood with numerous camps, including Boston, where elderly members were beaten by police.
In Oakland, despite police using multiple rounds of tear gas, flash grenades, rubber bullets and beanbag projectiles on protesters, they remained peaceful. Police denied the use of tear gas initially, but confirmed it at a press conference today. It was also claimed this started because a protester threw a rock at police, while Oakland Mayor Jean Quan stated the raid was because of “unsanitary conditions” and “ongoing vandalism” happening because of Occupy Oakland.
As for police denying the use of flash grenades and rubber bullets, the video above shows use of the flash grenade, and here’s a rubber bullet picked up by a demonstrator:
How long will this police aggression against unarmed, peaceful protest be allowed to continue? Scott Olsen is merely one of its victims. We, as citizens, must demand an end to the vicious crackdown at occupy protests across the nation. Remember, be peaceful, but stand resolute.
The tides are moving in favor of occupy movements. For example, Occupy Cleveland just won the right in federal court to occupy a city park around the clock. The judge wrote the demonstrators of Occupy Cleveland had their First Amendment rights violated and ordered the city to grant the protesters a permit.
Solidarity forever, my friends. Do not let the police scare you away.