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Occupy Activist Gets $4.5M From Oakland Over Police Attack

The Iraq War veteran says he sustained serious brain damage after his skull was fractured by a lead-filled beanbag fired by Oakland police during street protests in 2011. The 26-year-old temporarily lost his ability to speak and says he still suffers from memory loss

An Iraq War veteran who took part in a large Occupy movement street protest in Oakland, Calif., in 2011 has won a $4.5 million settlement from the city due to injuries he sustained from a non-lethal crowd-control weapon fired by police.

Scott Olsen, 26, a two-tour Iraq veteran and former Marine, suffered permanent brain damage, his attorneys said, after a lead-filled beanbag struck him in the head and fractured his skull on Oct. 25, 2011. Video of the incident—which included the police lobbing a flashbang hand grenade at a group of fellow demonstrators who rushed to Olsen’s aid–went viral, becoming a symbol of what some felt was police brutality in response to the protests.

“I’m grateful this is over,” Olsen told the East Bay Express. His attorneys announced the settlement Friday.

“It’s been very difficult to think about or plan for a future during this lawsuit,” Olsen said.

Olsen, who has regained the ability to speak and perform basic tasks since the incident but says he still suffers from memory loss and difficulty concentrating, said his medical bills are now more than $200,000.

Neither the mayor’s office nor the city attorney immediately commented to local media outlets.

[East Bay Express]

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