As if there was any doubt that police departments all across America are rewarding their officers for egregious acts of violence, the Oakland police department has recently promoted two of the police officers involved in the shooting of Occupy activist Scott Olsen.
Olsen, readers may remember, was an Occupy activist and Iraq war veteran who was shot in the head with beanbag bullets by Oakland police in 2011. Olsen was only about fifteen feet away from the officer who shot him, fracturing his skull and sending him to the hospital in critical condition. Police also fired flash grenades at activists who rushed to Olsen’s aid and continued to assault the demonstrators as they attempted to drag Olsen to safety and provide him with medical attention. Olsen temporarily lost his ability to speak, perform basic motor functions, and concentrate adequately. While he has recovered the ability to speak, his speech is still slurred and his memory and concentration are still significantly impaired.
Yet despite the fact that the City of Oakland was forced to pay out $4.5 million to Olsen in a settlement, the Oakland Police Department has now promoted two of the cops involved in the shooting.
Even more concerning is the fact that one of the officers, Paul Figueroa, has been promoted to the position of Assistant Police Chief and is now the second in command of the Oakland Police Department.