Thursday, April 3, 2014

Promotion Given To Cops Who Shot Occupy Activist Scott Olsen

Dees Illustration
Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

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.

Roland Holmgren, a Sergeant with a “Tango Team,” a type of Oakland tactical squad consisting of five officers and one sergeant each, was also involved in Olsen’s shooting. Like Figueroa, he was also promoted. Holmgren was awarded the title of Lieutenant earlier in 2014.

As Ali Winston of East Bay Press writes,
At the time of the shooting, Figueroa had no business being the incident commander or accepting the position: He was the head of the department's internal affairs division. As such, he would be responsible for investigating any misconduct stemming from that incident. It was a clear conflict of interest. As it turned out, OPD botched both the administrative and criminal investigations into the Olsen shooting. To this day, the department has yet to identify the officer responsible.
Still, Interim Police Chief Sean Whent, who had himself been head of the department’s Internal Affairs division (which speaks volumes as to the worth and credibility of that agency), went forward with promotions for both Figueroa and Holmgren.

East Bay Press also points out that Holmgren has quite the history of violence. As Ali Winston writes,
Holmgren also had been involved in the illegal use of force against anti-war protesters at the Port of Oakland in 2003. And he was involved in a drunken brawl with prison guards at a charity boxing event in 2010. He also was disciplined for turning off his chest-mounted camera during clashes with Occupy Oakland demonstrators on January 28, 2012.
Although the OPD conveniently “botched” the investigation of the shooting, Winston and other investigators were able to identify Officer Robert Roche as the individual who actually shot Olsen. However, while Roche was fired, the Alameda County District Attorney never filed charges against him. Neither did they file charges against the officers in charge, Holmgren and Figueroa.

An Iraq war veteran, Olsen apparently believed that when he returned to the United States the war was over and he no longer had reason to be in fear for his life. Olsen mistakenly believed that he was returning to a free country.

Unfortunately, Olsen did not fully grasp the concept that he was now in a new kind of war zone, one in which he now faced an enemy that was much more dangerous to American citizens than the “insurgents” he encountered in Iraq.

You can see additional details of the event surrounding the shooting of Scott Olsen, as well as hear from him in the video below:

Related Activist Post Article:
The Orwellian 'Non-Lethal' War Waged Against Peaceful Citizens

Recently from Brandon Turbeville:
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) 

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Anonymous said...

Until citizens use the same tactics as those who abuse their authority this will not change. They, the abusers want to make it painful when you try to go against them. Until they feel the same pain they inflict they will continue to believe they can do as they wish without retribution. Treat others as you wish to be treated and when others treat you wrongly let their negativity return to them 3 fold.




Anonymous said...

The veterans among us who have rebelled against tyranny in the US have been intentionally brutalized. They are feared. It was only once Viet Nam veterans joined the antiWar protestors that America rejected that illegal war. Veterans bring credibility to disputes. So bless the veterans who raise their voices against hypocrisy. Once again, we have failed to control law enforcement's fascist excesses.

Anonymous said...

Let it be ! Protesters enjoy getting thier heads busted , getting someone's attention really does give them the impression of being important .

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 3:58, you're an ignorant twit. Your country is eroding and falling into corruption and you STILL think like the propaganda from the mainstream media has been teaching? Bloody clueless. I was at Occupy Toronto. I was there because it seemed people were finally getting fed up enough to do SOMETHING, which many are used to thinking protesting as a valid form of action (protesting)... There were many well-meaning people who were troubled by the constant wars, deaths, and corruption in governments all over the world... It was a worldwide movement. But Occupy was infiltrated and misled. I didn't go there to get attention, I went there because it seemed like there was hope because so many people all over the world were getting involved. All the things going on in the world, the growing corruption and people's suffering, greatly troubled me. You know nothing of each individual activist out there, you are parroting what people are taught as "reality" by mainstream media. I know because I was aware that attitude existed even before I went to Occupy, and I was mostly listening to mainstream media myself. It was during Occupy that I started to seek out alternative media sources, like this one. Once I did I became aware that even groups connected to Occupy had been infiltrated (or falsely created by the elites), and about the New Word Order goal by the elites for a one-world government tyranny. You have made a sweeping assumption and put individuals doing activism under a stereotypical blanket definition.... hence your ignorance. And, being a part of the aware community, doing so makes you a twit. Don't claim to be aware and then toss out ignorant stereotypes. Also saying let a corrupt act happen to people under any circumstances, which means they will continue to do harm in the future, which SUPPORTS a corrupt harmful act ALSO makes you a twit! If it is corrupt (violates people's rights), it is a threat and is not acceptable. You can't just let someone's rights be violated (or violate them yourself) because you don't like them or don't agree with them. If you DO support people's rights being violated just because you don't like them (or don't agree with them) you are siding with the tyrants. A right is not a privilege, they cannot be violated just because you feel like it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

@Anon 3:58 - You are a tool! These bastard cops should have been FIRED and prosecuted for their actions. People have the right to lawfully assemble and protest in this country. Cops do NOT have the right brutalize, main, torture or kill anyone in this country, even lawful protestors. BTW, are you one of these Thug-Cops from Oakland? A member of the Elite who wants to decimate 95% of us? Is that why you have no heart or conscience?

Alan Kurtz said...

"Promotion Given To Cops Who Shot Occupy Activist Scott Olsen," reads Brandon Turbeville's headline. Outrageous! Except it's untrue.

As Ali Winston of East Bay Press writes, in an excerpt reproduced above, "To this day, the department has yet to identify the officer responsible."

No one familiar with the case has ever claimed that Paul Figueroa or Roland Holmgren shot Scott Olsen.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It was a police officer, at close range, at an unarmed, non violent, protester.

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