Monday, October 28, 2013

Pepper-Spraying Cop Wins $38,000 Worker's Comp For "Psychiatric Injury"

John Pike, former police officer who nonchalantly pepper sprayed UC Davis students sitting peacefully at an Occupy protest, was awarded $38,000 in worker's compensation due to "psychiatric injury" resulting from the November 2011 event. Three dozen protesters who were pepper sprayed received, in total, $1 million from the university, or around $28,000 per person–$10,000 less than the officer who pepper sprayed them:

Former police Lt. John Pike, who gained a degree of infamy for his role in the incident, was awarded the settlement Oct. 16 by the state Division of Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. The claim "resolves all claims of psychiatric injury specific or due to continuous trauma from applicant's employment at UC Davis."

The incident that resulted in the $38,055 settlement happened Nov. 18, 2011, on the UC Davis quad during a demonstration opposing tuition increases. On the widely circulated video, Pike is seen dousing protesters for about 15 seconds with orange pepper spray.

Pike was suspended with pay afterward. According to a database of state worker salaries, he earned $119,067 in 2011, the last year for which figures are available.

More than 17,000 angry or threatening e-mails, 10,000 text messages and hundreds of letters were sent to Pike after the video went viral, according to the police union.

Pike repeatedly changed his phone number and e-mail address and lived in various locations. He left the campus police force in July 2012.

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