Iraq war veteran Kayvan Sabeghi, 32, is finally speaking out after Oakland police shot him in the spleen with a rubber bullet during the Occupy Oakland demonstration last week.
Sabeghi had joined in a march the day before, but was only trying to get home when he was beaten by police early Thursday.
Kayvan is the second Iraq war veteran to be hospitalized by Oakland riot police.
Another protester, Scott Olsen, suffered a fractured skull on October 25th at the hands of Oakland law enforcement.
Sabehgi was taken to Highland hospital and from his hospital bed told the Guardian:
“There was a group of police in front of me, they told me to move, but I was like: ‘Move to where?’ There was nowhere to move.
Then they lined up in front of me. I was talking to one of them, saying ‘Why are you doing this?’ when one moved forward and hit me in my arm and legs and back with his baton. Then three or four cops tackled me and arrested me.”
Sabeghi left the army in 2007 and now part-owns a small bar-restaurant in El Cerrito, about 10 miles north of Oakland. He said he was handcuffed and placed in a police van for three hours before being taken to jail. By the time he got there he was in “unbelievable pain.”
“My stomach was really hurting, and it got worse to the point where I couldn’t stand up. I was on my hands and knees and crawled over the cell door to call for help.”
He said he had his arms folded and was “totally peaceful” before being arrested.
This is the second incident in two weeks where Oakland police has shot an unarmed demonstrator.
In the wake of the Scott Olsen shooting and now Sabeghi’s shooting, veterans from all over the country have been coming out to support the protesters.