This follows on the story of former Marine and two-tour Iraq vet Scott Olsen, whose skull was fractured, allegedly, by a police projectile during demonstrations at Occupy Oakland on October 25th, as we've reported on previously (here, here and, most recently, here).
Now we learn of a second serious injury to an Iraq (and Afghanistan) vet, Kayvan Sabehgi, at the hands of the Oakland PD in response to peaceful demonstrations late last month. He was reportedly in intensive care Friday following surgery for a ruptured spleen, more than 10 days after the Oakland PD's confrontation with demonstrators. Sabeghi was reportedly beaten, arrested, and kept in jail without medical care for some 24 hours after the incident, even though he wasn't even a part of the demonstration and was simply trying to get home that night.
As The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively last week, the Oakland PD appears to have initiated the use of chemical agents against peaceful protesters in violation of both state law and a federal consent decree agreed to after a similarly illegal and violent confrontation with demonstrators in 2003. Both video tape evidence and eye-witnesses testimony suggest the violence was instigated by law enforcement officials, rather than demonstrators, in direct contradiction to the claim by Oakland's Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan that police "had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks."
The revelations of the Sabehgi story make an already appalling story even more so...
This follows the case of Scott Olsen, who was shot in the head with a tear gas projectile during last week's protests and suffered brain damage for which he remains in the hospital.
Kayvan Sabehgi told the paper that he was walking through central Oakland around midnight on Wednesday, trying to get away from the violent clashes that had broken out, when he came face to face with a line of police officers.
“They told me to move, but I was like: 'Move to where?'” Sabehgi recalled. “There was nowhere to move. Then they lined up in front of me. I was talking to one of them, saying 'Why are you doing this?' when one moved forward and hit me in my arm and legs and back with his baton. Then three or four cops tackled me and arrested me.”
Sabehgi says he was handcuffed and held in a police van for three hours, and that by the time he reached the jail he was in “unbelievable pain.”
“My stomach was really hurting,” he says, “and it got worse to the point where I couldn't stand up. … I was vomiting and had diarrhoea. I just lay there in pain for hours.”
According to Sabehgi's sister, when he asked for help the police accused him of being a heroin addict, an alcoholic, and a diabetic.
When his bail was posted the following afternoon, he was in too much pain to leave his cell, so he was simply left lying on the floor until an ambulance was finally called, eighteen hours after his arrest. He was taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery on Friday afternoon in an attempt to repair his spleen.