A Retirement Plan For UC Davis’ Pepper Spray Cop

Oct 24, 2013
3:57 PM

The UC Davis police officer who gained online infamy after a video of him pepper spraying Occupy protesters went viral in 2009 has reached a workers’ compensation package totaling over $38,000. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:


A former UC Davis police officer whose pepper-spraying of protesters gained worldwide notice thanks to a viral video has been awarded more than $38,000 in workers’ compensation from the university for suffering he experienced after the incident.

Former police Lt. John Pike, who gained a degree of infamy for his role in the incident, was awarded the settlement Oct. 16 by the state Division of Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. The claim “resolves all claims of psychiatric injury specific or due to continuous trauma from applicant’s employment at UC Davis.”

The incident that resulted in the $38,055 settlement happened Nov. 18, 2011, on the UC Davis quad during a demonstration opposing tuition increases. On the widely circulated video, Pike is seen dousing protesters for about 15 seconds with orange pepper spray.

Pike was suspended with pay afterward. According to a database of state worker salaries, he earned $119,067 in 2011, the last year for which figures are available.

More than 17,000 angry or threatening e-mails, 10,000 text messages and hundreds of letters were sent to Pike after the video went viral, according to the police union.

Here’s one of the original videos of the incident:

In case the $38,000 isn’t enough for John Pike’s retirement we have an idea: join the Brazilian police force, notorious for their own indiscriminate use of the pepper spray.

He’d fit right in.