Witnesses assure he was just staying in the crowd when the Oakland Police Department started firing tear gas on Occupy Demonstrators who were determined to reclaim the camp, destroyed by officers before.
According to SFGate, police bombarded and barricaded the activists into a drawn-out stalemate that resulted in further arrests.
“He was standing perfectly still, provoking no one,” said a witness. “If something didn’t hit him directly in the face, then it went off close to his head and knocked him down.”
Olsen still remains in critical condition.
Sandra Olsen, Scott’s mother, told HuffPost that her son’s condition was serious. “He has a head injury,” she said. “They are still trying to figure it out with him. I don’t want to tie up the phone line. He’s not in the best shape.”
Authorities visited Olsen in the hospital and told him their sorry for what happened.
â€śItâ€™s unfortunate it happened. I wish that it didnâ€™t happen. Our goal, obviously, isnâ€™t to cause injury to anyone,â€ť Howard Jordan, Oakland Chief of Police, said at a press conference.
The cityâ€™s chief executive, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, posted the following statement:
We support the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement: we have high levels of unemployment and we have high levels of foreclosure that makes Oakland part of the 99% too. We are a progressive city and tolerant of many opinions. We may not always agree, but we all have a right to be heard.
I want to thank everyone for the peaceful demonstration at Frank Ogawa Park tonight, and thank the city employees who worked hard to clean up the plaza so that all activities can continue including Occupy Wall Street. We have decided to have a minimal police presence at the plaza for the short term and build a community effort to improve communications and dialogue with the demonstrators.
99% of our officers stayed professional during difficult and dangerous circumstances as did some of the demonstrators who dissuaded other protestors from vandalizing downtown and for helping to keep the demonstrations peaceful. For the most part, demonstrations over the past two weeks have been peaceful. We hope they continue to be so.
I want to express our deepest concern for all of those who were injured last night, and we are committed to ensuring this does not happen again. Investigations of certain incidents are underway and I will personally monitor them.
We understand and recognize the impact this event has had on the community and acknowledge what has happened. We cannot change the past, but we are committed to doing better.
Most of us are part of the 99%, and understand the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. We are committed to honoring their free speech right.
Finally, we understand the demonstrators want to meet with me and Chief Jordan. We welcome open dialogue with representatives of Occupy Wall Street members, and we are willing to meet with them as soon as possible.
Marineâ€™s injury affected the further actions of protesters in U.S. In Las Vegas, activists projected a photo of Olsen in uniform onto the corrugated-metal side of a building at their camp, the Associated Press reported. Vigils for Olsen were planned at Occupy sites in other cities.