Moral Low Ground


Kayvan Sabehgi, Army Ranger and Iraq/Afghan War Vet, Hospitalized with Ruptured Spleen after Police Beating and Arrest During ‘Occupy Oakland’ Clash

Kayvan Sabehgi wasn’t looking for any trouble Wednesday night. He was just trying to get home after participating in the peaceful Oakland general strike. But when the 32-year-old veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan ran into a police line  downtown during– but away from– clashes between ‘Occupy Oakland’ protesters and police, things got very ugly.

(Photo: Brett Wilkins)

“There was a group of police in front of me,” Sabehgi told the Guardian from his hospital bed. “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.”

The veteran was thrown in a police van for three hours before being transported to jail. He says he was in “unbelievable pain.”

“My stomach was really hurting, and it got worse to the point where I couldn’t stand up,” he told the Guardian. “I was on my hands and knees and crawled over to the cell door to call for help.”

“I was vomiting and had diarrhea. I just lay there in pain for hours.”

According to ABC7, Sabehgi begged to see a doctor but was told to “stop doing heroin.” But Sabehgi is no drug addict. In fact, he owns an artisan brewery in nearby El Cerrito.

Sabehgi was bailed out the next afternoon. By then, the pain was so bad that he couldn’t leave his jail cell. Eventually– around 6PM the day after his arrest– an ambulance rushed him to Highland Hospital, the same facility where U.S. Marine and Iraq war veteran and ‘Occupy’ protester Scott Olsen was operated on after his skull was fractured by police a week earlier. Sabehgi underwent surgery Friday to repair his lacerated spleen. He is recovering in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Kayvan Sabehgi’s brutal arrest came as a small subgroup of protesters occupied an abandoned building on 16th Street, a couple of blocks from the ‘Occupy Oakland’ encampment at Frank H. Ogawa (Oscar Grant) Plaza in downtown. Some protesters set a bonfire barrier in an attempt to prevent officers from re-taking the building. After 11PM, more than 200 officers attacked protesters with chemical weapons, flashbang grenades and “non-lethal” projectiles like bean bag rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets.

Sabehgi told the Guardian that  he had nothing to do with the building occupation and that he was “totally peaceful” before his arrest.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and the Oakland Police Department say they are investigating the incident.

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  1. wow4144November 27, 2011 at 8:51 pmReply

    The police in this country are terrifying.

  2. SUPMikeDecember 1, 2011 at 6:57 amReply

    That’s the point, isn’t it? They’re intentionally terrorizing the population; they’re indiscriminate with their violence. They are truly acting as terrorists – they want to prove that anything other than submission will trigger excessive, brutal punishment. They want to scare the Bill of Rights out of Americans. I read a great article at where the author explains her original research and interviews with protesters. She found that one of the main demands of the OWS movement is to separate money from politics and prohibit “insider” Congresspeople from enriching themselves at the public expense. The same article talks about the chain of command through the Department of Homeland Security issuing marching orders to the mayors of these hotspot cities. There are bills being passed *this very moment* that will effectively suspend habeas corpus and allow anyone, including U.S. citizens, to be treated as an enemy combatant using mere suspicion as a justification for indefinite detention. If this passes, it allows for Gestapo / NKVD / secret police -esque actions. Martial law is looming on the horizon if economic conditions continue to deteriorate. Right now, media are focusing on the Greek default and the finances of the European Union, but this is a distraction. The U.S. is similarly way in over its head in debt, and discussing the other guy’s problems isn’t going to make ours disappear. At you can see some good arguments supporting the real risk of hyperinflation in the U.S. I believe that these clashes with the police are a form of training maneuvers to test the government’s readiness to quell rebellion. I don’t adhere to the idea of “double-dip recession;” that’s a load of horse sh*t. Eventually, at 25% unemployment, the term depression will finally be unavoidable. Unfortunately, we have many more people to employ than we did back in the 1930’s, and the road to recovery from this one will be much more arduous. It’s a tough situation and we need to focus on long-term solutions, for the species’ sake.

    Here I must point out that the only candidate for President in 2012 that clearly defines his policy beliefs and plans, the one who has a 30-year track record of fulfilling his promises, the one with the most support from the American Armed Forces, and the only one espousing non-interventionism is Dr. Ron Paul. Please do your research on this champion of liberty.

    In conclusion, I condemn the actions of the police. They are human beings and morally responsible for the harm they inflict on others. They are not “protecting” or “serving” the people. They have accepted the authority of the State over the people. They should be tried and imprisoned.

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 1, 2011 at 8:24 amReplyAuthor

      Ron Paul is indeed a champion of liberty… too bad about some of his other ideas.

  3. SUPMikeDecember 1, 2011 at 7:00 amReply

    Whoops, those links didn’t show up.

    The Guardian article about OWS principles:

    The website about inflation in the U.S.:

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