University cop who pepper-sprayed student protesters awarded $38,000 for worker's comp., psychiatric distress

University of California cop who pepper-sprayed student protesters awarded $38,000

Brian Nguyen / Reuters file

UC Davis police Lieutenant John Pike pepper-sprays students during their sit-in at an "Occupy UCD" demonstration in Davis, Calif. on Nov. 18, 2011.

A former University of California policeman who stirred public outrage by pepper-spraying peaceful student protesters has been awarded $38,000 in worker's compensation for psychiatric damage he claimed to have suffered from the 2011 incident, the university said on Wednesday.

Then-campus police Lieutenant John Pike came to symbolize law enforcement aggression against anti-Wall Street protests at the time when video footage widely aired on TV and the Internet showed him casually dousing demonstrators in the face with a can of pepper spray as they sat on the ground.

Pike was suspended from his job at UC Davis and ultimately left the force in July 2012, but university officials did not disclose the circumstances of his departure.

A scathing 190-page report on the incident found that university officials and UC Davis police used poor judgment and excessive force in the confrontation. And the incident was widely mocked in satirical messages posted on the Internet in which still photos of Pike wielding his pepper spray were inserted into famed works or art or pop culture images.

The university last fall agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of the 21 students who got sprayed and later reported suffering panic attacks, trauma and academic problems as a result.

In June of this year, Pike himself filed a worker's compensation claim with UC Davis over the incident, saying he suffered unspecified psychiatric and nervous system damage, though the document did not explain how he claimed to have been harmed, records show.

On October 16, the state Division of Workers Compensation Appeals Board agreed to resolve his claim by paying him a settlement totaling $38,055, UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell said on Wednesday.

"This case has been resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers' compensation," Fell said in a written statement. "The final resolution is in line with permanent impairment as calculated by the state's disability evaluation unit."

Fell said he was not at liberty to elaborate on Pike's claim or the circumstances behind it.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Pike had earned more than $110,000 from his job in 2010, citing a database of state worker salaries from the last year for which figures are available.

The newspaper said he had received more than 17,000 angry or threatening emails, 10,000 text messages and hundreds of letters after the video of the pepper-spraying went viral.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi had asked prosecutors to look into possible criminal charges against the police officers involved in the pepper-spraying. But the Yolo County District Attorney's office determined there were no grounds on which to bring a case.

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The government takes car of its own.

See my response further down.  The govenment sucks!

Look at this fat psychopathic pig...This useless psycho pig will now go on permanent disability and permanently get paid for doing nothing....


This makes lady justice appear to be a whore, for 'their' system.

Poor guy. The feed-back he received from acting criminally but within the scope of his employment must have been very painful.


"No grounds on which to bring a case"? Yolo county DA is derelict in it's duty. How about ASSAULT AND BATTERY, with intent to inflict bodily harm? for one? Stupid ass's. How about use of chemical weapons on civilians, normally a war crime, but applicable. How about "terrorist acts on US soil"? How about, a danger to the public? How about filing a false workers comp. claim? He was mentally disturbed to begin with. How about deprivation of due process? Committing crimes under color of law? Aggravated assault? Malice?

And for the district attorney, how about conspiring to cover up crimes, dereliction of duty, obstruction of justice, just as starters.

Great points Joe! Also, will this creep and those like him lose the 'right' to carry firearms? In Indiana now even misdemeanors are, or can, prevent firearm possession, licensing, and etc. Yet, locally cops who have lost their jobs due to improper violence and such can still carry arms, then work for security firms, and then get positions where they get another badge like for being one ol  those 'special deputies,' then given a top position on the fire department, then carry city council badges too. One dude here like that carries.... FOUR different badges. Including another for fire inspector. Must be nice to be so corrupt and have the city cliques protect and support them from cradle to grave. This guy also was not found guilty of assault and battery even after breaking peoples arms and beating them. Nice world we live in.

I totally agree with you, jb, but the sad reality is that the so-called criminal "justice" system is not on our side anymore. Cops are rarely brought up on criminal charges, and they're almost never prosecuted and sentenced. These despicable, malicious bastards can do pretty much whatever they want to citizens, and not face anything remotely resembling just punishment for their crimes. 

The System is a corrupt and insidious cancer which has metastasized throughout the body of American society. Governments are corporate entities, and the police are employed to protect and serve THEM, not the public. In fact, the public is now seen as the adversary of The System, and the cops have been trained to bully, terrorize, oppress, and exterminate the adversary. The System will protect them for their services. 

This is why armed psychopathic thugs, acting under the color of law, have been unleashed upon the American citizenry. This is why police brutality, homicide and  criminal conduct have increased to epidemic proportions. This is war!

On Oct. 15, 1997 while at work I suffered a stroke.  I was working for the FAA at the time.  I was off work for two and one-half months with no income.  When I filed for Workman's Comp the government folks said that the stroke wasn't caused by work and I could go pound sand.  Why this a-hole cop was awarded $38,000.00 is beyond me and it sucks!  This punk, bully, psychopath moron is apparently a good liar.  He should have been taken out and flogged; he still should be!

Are you serious? I had a brain aneurysm at work and they paid my workers comp. I was running a 75 lb. rotohammer at the time, and asked the doc if that could have caused it, and he said there's no way to know, "they just happen". It doesn't matter if it's work related, if you're disabled, you paid into it, you should get it. I would talk to a lawyer, an online "free" consultation should tell you more. There's lots of workers comp. lawyers that give free "advice" inline, or at least tell you if you have a case.


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