Back during the #Occupy demonstrations, set off by the #occupywallstreet events in New York, there were lots of accusations of police brutality and abuse. Images of mounted police riding down protestors, old women being pepper-sprayed, and cordoned-off protestors being pepper-sprayed in the face were put on the news on an almost nightly basis for weeks.
One New York officer, Anthony Bologna, was a particular target of scorn because of video footage showing him, during a scuffle with protestors, deliberately spraying people in the face who were obviously posing no threat.
But there is probably no more enduring image of this abuse than that of University of California Davis police officer John Pike, seen on November 18, 2011, walking past and spraying unarmed, sitting protestors with pepper spray. The video and images enraged people across the nation. It was made into memes and spread far and wide within a couple of days.
Pike was suspended and ended up leaving the force in 2012. A 190-page report of the incident showed that campus police used excessive force. The university offered to pay $1 million dollars to university students who were sprayed.
Now John Pike has come back to get a piece of the action.
Last month, according to the UC Davis Enterprise, Pike filed a worker’s compensation claim with UC Davis over the incident. He alleges that he himself suffered from unspecified psychiatric and nervous system damage. A judge will hear Pike’s claim in mid-August. If a settlement is not reached, it will likely go to trial.
Pike’s claim does not specify how he was injured. Only that his injury stems from the incident in which he pepper-sprayed seated students. It is known that he received death threats, threats to his family, and was suspended from work. Perhaps he blames UC Davis for what he did in the line of duty.