Occupy Oakland protester receives $4.5 million settlement from city

Iraq Veteran Scott Olsen marches on with the protest. Photo by Charles Berkowitz.

Iraq Veteran Scott Olsen marches on with the Occupy Oakland one-year anniversary protest in October 2012. Photo by Charles Berkowitz.

An Iraq war veteran who was struck in the head by a police bean bag during an Occupy Oakland protest in 2011 agreed to a settlement of $4.5 million Friday with the city.

Under the terms of the agreement, Scott Olsen, 26, will receive $1.8 million. The City’s insurance carrier will pay the balance of the settlement, pending approval of the settlement by the City Council.

Olsen was injured during the clash between Occupy Oakland protesters and the Oakland Police Department on October 25, 2011. Earlier that morning, the police evicted the camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza after city officials became concerned about conditions at the location, according to a report from the Frazier Group, an independent agency that investigated the Occupy Oakland police response.

At night, protesters reconvened near City Hall, and in the early evening, protesters and police clashed violently. During the skirmish, Olsen was hit by a cloth-covered, lead-filled shotgun round called a flexible baton round, according to a statement from the city attorney’s office. He suffered a fractured skull and a traumatic brain injury, among other injuries.

Olsen filed a lawsuit against the City of Oakland in 2012.

In a statement released Friday morning, Mayor Jean Quan emphasized the changes she said resulted from the incident.

“We regret that Mr. Olsen suffered these injuries and hardships, and I want Oakland to know that because of that evening’s events we took determined, constructive steps to change our policing procedures.”

City Attorney Barbara Parker said she agreed with the settlement.

“Mr. Olsen suffered a tragic injury that will affect him for the rest of his life. This settlement will save the City the far greater costs of a trial and potentially much higher judgment. This is a fair settlement given the facts of the case and the significant injuries Mr. Olsen sustained.”

2 Comments

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    SF Chronicle. 3/21/14 “Occupy protester wounded by OPD gets 4.5 million” This is a more detailed account of the events.

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