Ex UC Davis Policeman Accused of Pepper Spraying Protesters Receives $38K CompensationBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
University of California, Davis has agreed to pay nearly $40,000 to John Pike, a former university police officer who made headlines in November 2011 for pepper-spraying students at close quarters during a tuition hike protest on campus. Pike will take home $33,350 after paying attorney's fees.
Davis, 40, of Roseville, said that he suffered psychiatric damage such as depression and anxiety after receiving death threats against him and his family over the November 18, 2011, incident.
"Like any other employer, UC Davis is required to follow the California workers' compensation process," campus officials said. The case was "resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers' compensation," Sacbee reports.
During the demonstration in 2011 when protestors refused to follow police commands to disperse, Pike and another officer pepper sprayed them. Pike's actions were captured on video and went viral online.
Following the incident, Anonymous, a hacking group, posted his home address and other personal information including his phone number and email address online, which led to several death threats against Pike.
A modulated voice in the video said, "Dear Officer John Pike. Your information is now public domain. Expect our full wrath. Anonymous seeks to avenge all protesters. We are going to make you squeal like a pig," Daily Mail UK reports.
The video was later removed because it represented 'a violation of YouTube's policy prohibiting hate speech.'
An investigation led by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso found that university officials and UC Davis police were involved in poor judgment and excessive force in the altercation.
Pike, who was placed on paid administrative leave for about eight months, was eventually fired in July 2012. The incident also led to the resignation of Annette Spicuzza, the then-campus police chief, in April 2012.
Plus, the university last fall agreed to pay $1million to settle a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California on behalf of the 21 students who got sprayed and reportedly suffered panic attacks, trauma and academic problems. As a result of the settlement, each of the plaintiffs received $30,000.
In July, Pike filed a Worker's Compensation Claim with the state over the incident stating that he suffered psychiatric damage.
According to a psychiatric report in January, Pike suffered a moderate disability and faced "continuing and significant internal and external stress with respect to resolving and solving the significant emotional upheavals that have occurred" in his life. He has also not shown any evidence of substantial improvement.