An Iraq war veteran has a fractured skull and brain swelling after allegedly being hit by a police projectile.
Scott Olsen is in a "critical condition" in Highland hospital in Oakland, a hospital spokesman confirmed.
Olsen, 24, suffered the head injury during protests in Oakland on Tuesday evening. More than 15 people were arrested after a crowd gathered to demonstrate against the police operation to clear two Occupy Oakland camps in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Jay Finneburgh, a photographer who was covering the protest, published pictures of Olsen lying on the ground.
"This poor guy was right behind me when he was hit in the head with a police projectile. He went down hard and did not get up," Finneburgh wrote.
"He survived two tours in Iraq," said Adele Carpenter, a friend of Olsen's and a member of the Civilian Soldier Alliance. "This struggle has high stakes, I really respect the fact that Scott was standing up for what he believes in. He's really passionate about social justice causes."
Olsen appears to be the first serious injury nationwide of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread to virtually every major American city -- and several smaller ones -- as millions of people continue to express their rage and disappointment with the country's banking, regulatory and health care systems.
Well, Mayor Quan, I guess the movement can give thanks that you've highlighted their cause with your own police overreaction. It worked to help publicize the movement when a cop pepper-sprayed some young women protesting in NYC, so this should do wonders. If Olsen dies, it's like Kent State May 4, 1970 revisited.
Let's see how you handle the return of the protest tonight.