John Pike, a former campus police officer at UC Davis, won $38,000 in workers' comp stemming from a 2011 Occupy protest in which he infamously used pepper spray on peaceful students. Where's the justice in that, some are asking.
Former University of California police officer John Pike, who in 2011 infamously pepper-sprayed a group of prone, arm-locked Occupy protesters at the system’s campus in Davis, will receive thousands of dollars more in compensation than his victims did.
Mr. Pike has been awarded $38,000 in workers' compensation for “moderate” psychiatric distress caused by outrage against his pepper-spray action. The award is raising questions about labor laws: whether in general they are too accommodating of ill-behaved employees, and whether in this specific case they have been used to support a police officer’s predisposition to harm peaceful people.
A video of the 2011 protest at UC Davis, which went viral online and became an iconic moment in Occupy lore, caught Pike walking calmly and bureaucratically down a line of sitting protesters, spraying them in the face to get them to move. Still frames from the video were photoshopped onto famous paintings, mocking both Pike and the university. Pike was eventually fired after eight months of paid administrative leave.