This is an extremely disturbing video of what happened yesterday in Oakland, California at an Occupy Oakland protest. A young Iraq war veteran named Scott Olsen, age 24, is potentially brain injured thanks to a police officer throwing something that some people are alleging to be a flashbang grenade, i.e. a bomb, into a crowd of people. When a crowd of young people rush to help save him it appears that the police officer throws a second bomb at the crowd. At this point, the police department have issued a press release denying use of flash bang devices but others dispute this.
Flashbang grenades are NOT a non-lethal use of force as some police departments would have you believe. They are deadly. Just this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, a SWAT officer by the name of Fred Thornton was killed when a flash bang grenade exploded as he was securing his equipment in the trunk of his patrol car. Certain city police departments, including the New York City Police Department have banned the use of flash bang grenades because they kill innocent victims.
Sadly, certain police departments in Georgia use this dangerous device and have unjustifiably injured innocent Georgia civilians. For example, we’ve had clients with gruesome burns all over just because a police department in our state has unjustifiably thrown these bombs in the bedroom windows of innocent Georgia citizens while sleeping.
The video clip is an absolute example of police misconduct that violates the Constitutional rights of United States citizens. Shame on Oakland Mayor and Chief of Police for allowing such an unacceptable, illegal and unconstitutional use of force!
Hopefully, Scott Olsen, the 24 year old young man and Iraq war veteran who was injured by police yesterday, will pull through and recover without lasting damage to his brain. It is shocking that what he escaped on the streets of Iraq he came home to on the streets of America.
We do not live in a regime like Syria where dictators abuse their citizens without recourse. The Fourth Amendment of our United States Constitution protects persons from such such unlawful activities. Additionally, our civil justice system, as is guaranteed in the Seventh Amendment allows us to seek redress for violations of our Constitutional rights. Shame on the city of Oakland if in fact it is true that a police officer was allowed to throw a flashbang grenade at a crowd of people. These bombs due more than stun. They seriously maim and kill.
Good Georgia Lawyer calls on the Mayor of Oakland and Chief of Police to stop this unnecessary violence, do the right thing, and protect the constitutional rights of its citizens.
UPDATE: Oakland Police Department is denying that these were in fact were flashbang grenades. We hope this is true. But regardless, the above video clip shows unacceptable use of force against citizens and a clear violation of Constitutional rights.