Remember the infamous cop that pepper-sprayed peaceful Occupy protesters at the University of California-Davis in 2011 because they wouldn’t move? He was awarded a workers’ comp settlement last week, which just happens to be more than the students that were pepper-sprayed received.
The news of former University of California police officer John Pike filing a workers’ comp claim made rounds back in July. A judge approved the claim last week in the amount of $38,000 for “moderate” psychiatric distress stemming from the pepper-spray incident. The protesters that were sprayed in the face received around $30,000 each. Check out the video of the cop pepper-spraying the students below.
Pike walked down a line of student protesters that were sitting on the ground as part of the nationwide Occupy movement and showered pepper-spray in their faces. Some protesters were pepper-sprayed multiple times. Pike was put on paid administrative leave for eight months and was eventually let go from his position after the university determined that he used excessive force.
According to The Davis Enterprise, Pike was being paid an annual salary of just over $120,000 at the time he was fired, which means in addition to the workers’ comp settlement he received, he was also paid $90,000 (less taxes) after the pepper-spraying incident. Pike will also receive retirement benefits.
Bernie Goldsmith, a Davis lawyer that supports the protesters, told The Davis Enterprise that Pike’s workers’ comp settlement sends a dangerous message. It “sends a clear message to the next officer nervously facing off with a group of passive, unarmed students: Go on ahead. Brutalize them. Trample their rights. You will be well taken care of,” Goldsmith said.
While many people question the fairness of Pike receiving a workers’ comp settlement period, let alone receiving more than the people he pepper-sprayed, the university doesn’t appear to have any issues with the settlement. “This case has been resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers’ compensation,” UC-Davis spokesman Andy Fell said in an email.
Do you think Pike was entitled to a settlement? Respond below. Many people are outraged with the former University of California system cop receiving a payout:
I still can't believe the #pepperspray rent-a-cop got damages.
— Ragdoll (@F1z1cs) October 24, 2013
Your dose of "WTF?!" for the day… In my opinion, this is utter bullshit. http://t.co/4cR7HC0Lw7
— Asmodeus Mictian (@TheAngryPagan) October 24, 2013
[Image via YouTube]
— Shipra Prakash (@Ships_Prakash) October 24, 2013