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UC Davis Pepper Spray Cop Awarded $38,000 in Workers Comp

October 24, 2013 in Blogs

By Rod Bastanmehr, AlterNet

Lt. John Pike is being paid handsomely for spraying peaceful protesters in the face.

The former University of California Davis police lieutenant who was caught on video brutally pepper-spraying a line of peaceful protestors in 2011 during the Occupy protests was awarded a sum of $38,000 in workman’s compensation in a settlement with the university last week.

Former Lt. John Pike, 40, is reported to have suffered depression and anxiety after a video of his November 18, 2011 confrontation with Occupy Davis protestors went viral. The video sparked outrage across the country and became the clearest symbol of police brutality against the Occupy movement. Soon after the video spread, Pike claims that he and his family began regularly receiving death threats.

“This case has been resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers’ compensation,” UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell told the Davis Enterprise. Pike’s attorney, Jason Marcus, declined to comment on the ruling. 

California state’s Disability Evaluation Unit is tasked with determining permanent disability ratings based on doctor’s reports. According to a January 5 psychiatric report issues by Richard Lieberman, and released by the state, Pike’s disability and mental distress were rated as “moderate.” 

A second psychiatrist, Bernard Bauer of San Francisco, was brought in to blindly score Pike’s responses on a battery of psychological tests—but the results have not been made public. 

In January of this year, UC Davis agreed to pay $1 million to settle a federal suit in which 21 plaintiffs who were sprayed or arrested each received $30,000. Another 15, who had claims relating to the altercation were to be paid $6,666. At over $38,000, Pike is now to be paid a larger settlement than any of the students injured or traumatized while protesting peacefully.

Pike was fired in July of 2012, following eight months of paid administrative leave. During that time, different investigations were launched in an effort to conclude whether Pike’s actions—discharging large amounts of pepper-spray into the faces of a group of quietly seated students, arms locked in peaceful protest—was valid. 

A public task force led by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso faulted …read more


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