Tag: Scott Olsen

Deserving Of a Broken Skull?

The one nice thing about trolls, me being a “glass half full” kind of guy, is that sometimes in their delusional rantings, they do stumble upon a story worthy of reviewing. Sure, they get their facts wrong,and even when presented with the facts usually come up with a bass ackwards conclusion (you would too if you barely had 2 firing synapses to rub together) but the initial event that lights their fuse did occur, so we can start with that.

We can all agree that Scott Olsen got his bell rung:

A clash between Oakland police and Occupy Wall Street protesters left an Iraq War veteran hospitalized Wednesday after a projectile struck him in a conflict that came as tensions grew over demonstration encampments across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull Tuesday in a march with other protesters toward City Hall, said Dottie Guy, of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. The demonstrators had been making an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of a disbanded protesters’ camp when they were met by officers in riot gear.

Interesting wording ,”to re-establish”, in other words, the crowd, under legal precedent and police protocol, was verbally warned that they were in violation of the law (several ordinances are in play here, from organized protesting without a permit-yes, you do need one, just ask the Tea Party, trespassing, loitering, vandalism, noise or trash violations, blocking public access, even park ordinances, etc). A sufficient time is given for the crowd to comply, two more warnings are given with the last two coupled with a list of actions that will happen if the crowd does not disperse and go home. This particular crowd did initially comply, but some tried to re-establish, and Scott was part of this crowd.

Something (unk. what object) hit him in the head and broke his melon. Some of those rush to judgment types are sure that it was a police teargas canister. Problem is, the crowd was throwing rocks and bottles themselves, so nobody knows:

The good news is that Scott was rushed to the hospital and his condition is improving.

A full investigation (level one, reserved for when officers are injured or killed) is on going, and hopefully they will find out exactly what struck Olsen.

But here is the curious part, both sides are going through extra ordinary efforts to make Scott the focus of this incident, not the initial act. You got demonstrators like this who are attempting to make him out as a good guy. Ditto with the right wing blogosphere, digging deep to come up with some truly nasty stuff, here, here , and here. It’s like if they can drudge up dirt that paints him as douchebag, drug addled, sissie boy who could not hack the Marine Corp., then somehow the tragedy of the incident will be mitigated, and that broad brush can be used to paint all the protesters as snivelling lazy degenerates, maybe even deserving of what they get.

I don’t think this is the right’s (those lapping up the story and running with it) finest hour. Yes, I think some responsibility lies with those dunderheads that not only did not leave but returned, putting themselves in harm’s way by their reckless actions. But nobody deserves getting their head broken.

Crowd control is not something they leave to chance but train for it. Given the volatility of the situation, large crowds, not all speaking with one voice, and many spurred on to violence thinking their unanimity will protect them, a greater tolerance is usually exhibited.

But when the crowd degenerates into bottle and rock throwing (please tell me again how these folks are just like the Tea Party), then the kidd gloves come off, and folks are going to be arrested.