Video: Police fell Occupy Oakland videographer

Here’s a video, uploaded Saturday, of an incident that occurred during the fracas that followed the Occupy Oakland general strike early Thursday morning.

I talked this morning with Scott Campbell, 30, of Oakland, who says he’s the man who was holding the camera.

“When I was approaching the line, an officer told me to stop and step back, so I stepped back 5 or 10 feet and started filming, and I asked if that was ok,” he said.

He said he received no reply until the shot was fired.

“Some of my friends saw me get shot and they ran up and get me into a doorway,” Campbell said; someone brought an ice-pack while a legal observer took down information, and then his friends helped him get to a taxi.

He said he has a 1-1/2 inch wound on his upper right thigh, with considerable swelling and bruising around it. He saw a doctor the next day, who told him to keep the wound bandaged and iced.

“At first I was just stunned, and in an immense amount of pain,” he said. “In real time, I didn’t see the officer raise and fire his weapon… it was just shock, I was extremely shaken. And since then what I’m really wondering is what was going through that person’s head that made him think it was OK to shoot another person with a less-than-lethal weapon for doing absolutely nothing wrong.”

Campbell said he does social and digital media work for a local nonprofit and supports Occupy Oakland. “I don’t camp out there, I’ve been a participant but not an active organizer,” he said. “I’ve come out for general assemblies and marches, and I came out that day for the general strike to show my support.”

He said he brought his camera that night because he wanted to document any excessive force used by police, never imagining that might make him a target. “I don’t know if I was in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time.”

He said he wants an independent, not internal investigation of this and other reports of excessive force, and is considering whether to take legal action.

“I’ve been discussing it with some individuals from the National Lawyers Guild, so far nothing’s been decided,” Campbell said this morning. “It’s shocking that someone who is a police officer felt it was appropriate to do that. I’m not sure what the options are, but I would like to have the officer identified and I would like for him to be held accountable.”

We’re contacting the city for a response, and this item will be updated if there’s a reply.

UPDATE @ 6:05 P.M.: Read our more complete report here.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.