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August 21, 2017

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California mayor apologizes for Iraq veteran's injury

SAN FRANCISCO -- A California mayor has apologized after an Iraq war veteran was injured when police fired tear gas to clear an anti-Wall Street protest camp, but the ex-Marine's colleagues voiced anger.

Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull and was left in critical condition when riot police moved in on the camp in Oakland, outside San Francisco last Tuesday. He remains in the hospital and is improving, reports say.

"I am deeply saddened about the outcome on Tuesday. It was not what anyone hoped for, ultimately it was my responsibility, and I apologize for what happened," said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan in a statement.

She said she visited Olsen and his parents Friday "because I was concerned about his recovery. And I hope we will keep them all in our prayers.

"We have started an investigation into the use of force, including tear gas, on Tuesday. I cannot change the past, but I want to work with you to ensure that this remains peaceful moving forward.

"When there's violence, there are no winners — it polarizes us and opens old wounds rather than brings us together, which is the aim of Occupy Wall Street and uniting the 99 percent," she said.

But colleagues of the ex-Marine voiced anger in online posts, including one, identified as "aburger," who posted a picture of himself holding a photo of the injured Olsen and a piece of paper saying "You did this to my brother."

Nearly 2,000 people had commented on the post by Saturday. One, 0311kilo33, wrote: "As God is my witness. I will fight tooth-and-nail to restore the decency this country was founded upon.

"The politicians, banks and large corporations have ruined this country. I find it difficult to notice any sense of politeness on the streets anymore ... As a Marine and a citizen I am outraged," he added.

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