Occupy Oakland protester says police beat him

Erin Allday, SF Chronicle
November 4, 2011

OAKLAND — A man who says he is an armed forces veteran was in the intensive care unit of Highland Hospital after suffering serious injuries that he said were caused by a confrontation with police during this week’s Occupy Oakland protests.

Kayvan Sabeghi, 32, was among the 103 people arrested early Thursday after a day of peaceful protests turned violent. He was arrested for remaining at the scene of a riot and resisting arrest, police said.

Sabeghi told members of Iraq Veterans Against the War that he was beaten with nightsticks on his hands, shoulders, ribs and back by police or Alameda County sheriff’s deputies. He suffered internal injuries, including a lacerated spleen, he told the group.

Emily Yates, a member of the group, said Sabeghi was “awake and alert” when she visited him at the hospital Friday. Sabeghi identified himself as a veteran, Yates said, although he is not affiliated with Iraq Veterans Against the War. It was unclear whether he had fought overseas.

In a statement, the veterans group said, “We stand by our fellow veterans and denounce the police brutality that our brothers in arms endured. We stand by to support them in any way possible.”

Oakland police and sheriff’s officials said they are investigating the allegations.

On Oct. 25, Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen suffered a head injury, apparently from being hit by a projectile fired from police lines. As of Friday, he remained at Highland Hospital but he was expected to make a full recovery.