Second Veteran Police Brutality Victim in Occupy Oakland

If Occupy protestors getting hit by cars in two cities is the beginning of a trend, so is a second Iraq War veteran being seriously injured by police during the Occupy Oakland protestors.

 

If Occupy protestors getting hit by cars in two cities is the beginning of a trend, so is a second Iraq War veteran being seriously injured by police during the Occupy Oakland protestors.

San Francisco’s KGO-TV, ABC 7 (“Second veteran injured in ‘Occupy Oakland’ violence“):

There are fresh charges of police brutality against a war veteran arrested near an Occupy Oakland demonstration.

The veteran, 32-year-old Kayvan Sabeghi, underwent surgery on Friday for a ruptured spleen. Before he went into surgery, Sabeghi told his sister that he was walking to his home near Frank Ogawa Plaza when he was stopped by police, hit in the abdomen four times and then arrested and taken to jail where he could not receive medical treatment.

Sabeghi is a former Army ranger who served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sabeghi’s sister Shoole Sabeghi said her brother dedicated his life to serving his country and that he did not deserve the treatment he received Wednesday night. ”I am absolutely furious,” Sabeghi said. “I’m absolutely furious at the way they treated my little brother. I’m so mad. They hurt him and then they refused to help him.”

Sabeghi underwent surgery at Highland for about two hours. Doctors tried to repair his spleen, which was apparently ruptured after Sabeghi was beaten and arrested.

“Just because you have the power to do so does’t mean you have the right to do so,” Sabeghi said. “You can’t treat people that way. If someone is injured…you have to take care of them.”

His sister said Sabeghi spent the night in a jail cell and was refused medical treatment for nearly 24 hours. ”At one point he asked for assistance and they told him to stop taking heroin,” Sabeghi said. “Another time they told him he was an alcholic and a diabetic, neither of which are true.”

It’s the second time in two weeks that an Iraq war veteran has been injured in violence between protesters and police.

[…]

In a statement to ABC7, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department said they have heard claims that Sabeghi didn’t receive medical attention and are launching an investigation, which will include reviewing video from Wednesday’s incident.

The Oakland Police Department said they are also launching an investigation.

Sabeghi is out of surgery and is recovering in the intensive care unit.

The following statement was released by the Oakland Police Department: The Oakland Police Department is conducting an investigation regarding Kayvan Sabeghi and the circumstances of his arrest on November 3, 2011. This case, as are all reported or alleged instances of force, is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Major Crimes Section at (510) 238-3821.

Now, the fact that these men are veterans doesn’t matter much to me, even though I’m a Desert Storm veteran and son of a Vietnam veteran. Americans, regardless of their service background, have a fundamental right to free expression and to expect protection, not abuse, at the hands of the police forces we pay to protect us. It’s almost never reasonable for police to use violence against citizens who aren’t using violence against them  and there’s hardly a fathomable circumstance where even the most contemptible criminal suspect, injured by police who are using the minimum force necessary to protect themselves and civilian bystanders, wouldn’t expect to receive immediate medical attention after his custody has been secured.

The Oakland Police Department has a serious problem with brutality. Which is to say, the Oakland Police Department employs criminals and allows them to roam the streets with guns, badges, and the color of state authority. If they don’t handle this quite soon, President Obama should direct the Attorney General of the United States to investigate and use every tool at the disposal of the federal government to put an end to this condition.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Tommy says:

    If an officer or group of officers did this? I say fire them, prosecute them, and max them out. That said, the way you have already convicted these guys in this post is ridiculous. You talk about “fundamental rights” in this post. Perhaps you should think about another: “Due process.”




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  2. michael reynolds says:

    Oakland PD are thugs and apparently out of the control of the mayor. As you imply, just another street gang.




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  3. mantis says:

    It’s almost never reasonable for police to use violence against citizens who aren’t using violence against them

    And yet, quite common.




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  4. The Oakland Police Department has a serious problem with brutality.

    It increasingly seems to me that neraly all police departments have a problem with brutality. The fact that a large number of the populace is suddenly carring around video recorders is making it clear that police routinely resort to unnecessary violence in a shockingly casual manner on a regular basis.




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  5. Jay says:

    Over-under on the investigation resulting in the officers being put on paid administrative leave with full benefits?




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  6. RWVNRAL says:

    The growing belligerence of law enforcement is a symptom of our unfortunate love of martialism. We’ve created this monster by celebrating uniformed professionals as somehow greater defenders of liberty than the rest of us, and forgetting that, stripped bare, they are no more or less American than the simplest of farmers. Where and when we developed this peculiar affection for g-men (or perhaps better put: the king’s men) is one of the great mysteries of our day. I deign to suggest that the Framers would be horrified. No doubt, Jefferson would.




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  7. The growing belligerence of law enforcement is a symptom of our unfortunate love of martialism.

    Is it acually growing more beligerent, or are we just hearing the truth about it more now that smart phones are providing physical evidence to what used to strictly be cop’s story vs. victims story?




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  8. Loviatar says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It increasingly seems to me that neraly all police departments have a problem with brutality.

    Any African American could have told you that years ago.




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  9. RM says:

    I read that the Oakland PD claimed that the first injured vet was not injured by a “tear gas grenade” fired by their officers since they claim that no such item was fired. rather that it was likely that he was injured by a rock/piece of concrete thrown by a protestor. Anyone have information supporting or refuting this claim?

    If this second person was in fact beaten by the police they should deinitely be held to account. Is there any evendince that his claim is valid or conversly is not valid?




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  10. anjin-san says:

    Anyone have information supporting or refuting this claim?

    Everyone who lives in the bay area knows Oak PD has no credibility. None. These idiots pumped a baby deer full of bullets recently with children watching. For no reason whatsoever. They could not even manage to kill the poor thing cleanly, it died in agony.

    Now they have send two vets to the ER, again for no reason.




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  11. John Peabody says:

    I wish to second Mr. Joyner’s point that the fact these two incidents occurred to veterans is beside the point. A headline using the term ‘veteran’ is implying, at some level, that these actions are worse than they already are. Unlike heat-of-the-battle racial stereotyping, a veteran protester is not readilly identifiable to the police, so it us unlikely that he received worse treatment because he was a veteran. No, I see it as a cheap way to try and add validity to a story. (btw, I am also a retired US Army soldier)




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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    If this second person was in fact beaten by the police they should deinitely be held to account. Is there any evendince that his claim is valid or conversly is not valid?

    What is beyond refutation is that he was held in jail for at least 14 hours with a ruptured spleen. And refused medical attention. Those 2 facts alone should send several people to prison and drain the coffers of Oakland of a few million.




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  13. anjin-san says:

    No, I see it as a cheap way to try and add validity to a story

    Does the story of American citizens who are not engaged in any violence being sent to intensive care by police need any more “validity”?




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