Pepper Spray Cop Gets $38,000 in Workers' Comp

Pepper Spray Cop Gets $38,000 in Workers' Comp
asucd / YouTube

Remember that UC Davis police officer who casually pepper-sprayed a line of sitting Occupy demonstrators on campus in 2011?

Lt. John Pike was suspended and then left his gig in a cloud of mystery and disgrace before a task force prepared an in-depth report on the incident seen around the world via YouTube. Pike's stroll-and-spray technique came to practically define the contemporary Internet meme.

But his widely criticized use of force hasn't stopped Pike from getting paid:

The former UC cop was awarded $38,055 in workers' compensation, UC Davis' spokesman Andy Fell told the Weekly.

See also: Bill Bratton Tapped to Head Pepper Spray Inquiry at UC Davis.

The payout was a "final resolution in line with permanent impairment as calculated by the State's Disability Evaluation Unit," according to a UC Davis statement:

Like any other employer, UC Davis is required to follow the California workers' compensation process. Before a case can be closed, a judge must review it to ensure that the terms follow state law on workers' compensation.

Pike claimed that he suffered from mental anguish from the intense media scrutiny and blame game that followed the Nov. 18, 2011, clash. Another officer is seen using pepper spray as well, but Pike's amazingly calm demeanor in doling out his eye-watering punishment made him an overnight Internet star.

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The pepper spray task force, headed by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, concluded this:

While the deployment of the pepper spray on the Quad at UC Davis on Nov. 18, 2011, was flawed, it was the systemic and repeated failures in the civilian, UC Davis Administration decision-making process that put the officers in the unfortunate situation in which they found themselves shortly after 3 p.m. that day.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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