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Oakland to pay $4.5 million for protester's brain injury

The city of Oakland, California, will pay $4.5 million to a protester who was injured during a demonstration in 2011. The victim, an Iraq War veteran, suffered a skull fracture when he was shot with a beanbag round that was fired during the protest. That impact led to traumatic brain injuries that included hemorrhaging, and the 26-year-old man also suffered a broken vertebrae.

News reports show that the man, who had served overseas as a U.S. Marine, suffered such serious brain damage that he can no longer work. He had been employed as a computer systems administrator. The man said that although he is pleased with the amount of the settlement, money simply cannot bring back the part of his brain that was injured. He is still focusing on recovering from the traumatic brain injury, and he said he wants to live a productive life despite the wounds.

Attorneys in the case say that the man was shot in the head from a close range, likely less than 30 feet. The man was participating in a protest as part of the Occupy Oakland movement. The city was accused of using violence to deal with innocent victims who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights.

In all, more than 40 officers were slated to be disciplined for misconduct in connection with that protest. A study showed that the officers at that time were not properly trained or equipped to handle such a significant protest. Officers have since received extensive education about managing protesters.

Less-lethal ammunition used inappropriately can cause serious injury. Victims who have been wounded by this type of ammunition may be eligible to receive accident compensation because of police negligence. A California attorney may be able to provide additional information for victims who have suffered brain damage because of police abuse.

Source: KTVU.com, "Oakland to pay $4.5 million to injured Occupy demonstrator" No author given, Mar. 21, 2014

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