Let's all give a big "thanks" to the heroes of the Oakland Police Department, who have now hospitalized two veterans of the Iraq War in the last week as part of their ongoing project to look like the worst police department in the country!
Bar owner Kayvan Sabeghi, a 32-year-old former Army Ranger and veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, was arrested and beaten by Oakland police on Wednesday night during a crackdown on the generally peaceful Occupy Oakland protests that had been going on that day:
Sabehgi told the Guardian from hospital he was walking alone along 14th Street in central Oakland – away from the main area of clashes – when he was injured.
"There was a group of police in front of me," he told the Guardian from his hospital bed. "They told me to move, but I was like: 'Move to where?' There was nowhere to move.
"Then they lined up in front of me. I was talking to one of them, saying 'Why are you doing this?' when one moved forward and hit me in my arm and legs and back with his baton. Then three or four cops tackled me and arrested me."
Sabeghi, who left the army in 2007 and now part-owns a small bar-restaurant in El Cerrito, about 10 miles north of Oakland, said he was handcuffed and placed in a police van for three hours before being taken to jail. By the time he got there he was in "unbelievable pain".
According to friends, Sabeghi was denied medical care for 18 hours; he's currently in the hospital after being treated for a lacerated spleen and internal bleeding. The protests at which he was arrested were spurred in part by the arrest of Scott Olsen, a marine and Iraq War veteran who suffered a serious head injury after cops fired a tear gas canister at his head. Olsen is still hospitalized, but is said be recovering. There's really no better way to say "thanks for putting your life on the line in an unjust and illegal war" than with hospitalization, is there?