An officer who has become an Internet sensation for his brutal direct spraying of peaceful, seated, unarmed student protesters on the UC Davis campus in 2011 has inexplicably been rewarded to the tune of $38,000.
Lt. John Pike cited psychiatric damage from the fallout after his video went viral, he became a star of memes like one above (and here), and he fell into a depression that caused him to leave his $119,000 per year job.
Adding insult to injury, the 21 students and alumni who were subjected to Pike’s brutality were each awarded less than he was in their settlement with the school — they received $30,000 each.
Feel free to contact UC Davis here and tell them your opinion of their decision.
Full transcript and additional links can be found below
The U.C. Davis police officer who was seen pepper spraying student protesters in a viral video has been given $38,000 from the school.
Lt. John Pike was awarded $38,000 in workers’ compensation for “psychiatric damage.” He says he was bombarded with more than 17,000 threatening emails; 10,000 angry text messages; and hundreds of letters. (Via Al Jazeera)
The Davis Enterprise says Pike reportedly suffered from depression and anxiety from the incident.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Pike was making more than $119,000 the year of the incident. But after the video went viral, “Pike repeatedly changed his phone number and e-mail address and lived in various locations. He left the campus police force in July 2012.”
“After disobeying police orders to remove their tents from campus, the ‘Occupy UC Davis’ protesters linked arms. … Then, a university police officer wielding a can of pepper spray orders the protesters to disperse.” (Via ABC)
After none of the protesters moved, Pike sprayed them with orange-colored pepper spray at close range. (Via YouTube / asucd)
A spokesperson from the university said in a statement: “This case has been resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers’ compensation. The final resolution is in line with permanent impairment as calculated by the state’s disability evaluation unit.” (Via Los Angeles Times)
The U.C. Davis school system settled a $1 million lawsuit with the pepper-sprayed students earlier this year, giving the 21 affected students and alumni $30,000 each.
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