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As the events that led to Oakland protester Scott Olsen’s head injury continue to unfold and investigations begin, we thought it important to offer some perspective.This comment is from a former Marine with special operations in crowd control.
He points out that shooting canisters such as those that likely hit Scott Olsen is prohibited under rules of engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of any political position on the Occupy protests, these are some Interesting insights:
Before gas goes into a crowd shield bearers have to be making no progress moving a crowd or crowd must be assaulting the line. Not with sticks and stones but a no bullshit assault. 3 warnings must be given to the crowd in a manner they can hear that force is about to be used. Shield bearers take a knee and CS gas is released in grenade form first to fog out your lines because you have gas masks. You then kick the canisters along in front of your lines. Projectile gas is not used except for longer ranged engagement or trying to steer the crowd ( by steering a crowd I mean firing gas to block a street off ). You also have shotguns with beanbags and various less than lethal rounds for your launchers. These are the rules for a WARZONE!!
How did a cop who is supposed to have training on his weapon system accidentally SHOOT someone in the head with a 40mm gas canister? Simple. He was aiming at him.
I’ll be the first to admit a 40mm round is tricky to aim if you are inexperienced but anyone can tell the difference between aiming at head level and going for range.
The person that pulled that trigger has no business being a cop. He sent that round out with the intention of doing some serious damage to the protestors. I don’t care what the protestors were doing. I never broke my rules of engagement in Iraq or Afghanistan. So I can’t imagine what a protester in the states did to deserve a headshot with a 40mm. He’s damn lucky to be alive and that cop knows he was using lethal force against a protester he is supposed to be protecting.
Additionally: Jesse Davis mentions “The methods prohibited in war, and actions after the fact are also against war zone policy.” Check out his infographic here.
Specifically these two transcribed directly from US Army Law of War/Law of Armed Conflict training.
The Military manual states:
…have a duty to collect and care for the wounded. prioritise treatment according to injuries. Make NO treatment distinction based on nationality. All soldiers, enemy or friendly, must be treated the same.
Second, the officer threw a flash-bang directly into a group of people trying to carry him away for medical treatment. Here’s the Military guidance on that decision:
Medical Personnel Considered out of combat if they exclusively engaged in medical duties. (GWS, art. 24.) Doctors, surgeons, nurses, chemists, stretcher-bearers, medics, corpsman, and orderlies, etc…, who are “exclusively engaged” in the direct care of the wounded and sick.
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