John Pike Gets $38,000

Elmo Occupies UC Davis
Elmo Occupies UC Davis (Photo credit: Mike Licht,

John Pike, the pepper spraying cop, Gets $38,000

The wages of sin! You just gotta love it.

Pike pepper sprays students against police practice with a spray canister designed to never be used at less than thirty feet. A whitewash clears him of wrongdoing when a child can see his guilt in the video.

By simple dumb luck, Pike didn’t permanently injure any of the demonstrators, and yet – $38,000.


Here watch the video once again.

Here is the official report on the incident:

I say to those who would condone this rogue cop’s actions to read the report to get a full understanding of how many police guidelines he was violating.

James Pilant

UC Davis pepper spray police officer awarded $38,000 compensation.

A former University of California Davis police officer who pepper-sprayed a group of Occupy protesters has reached a $38,000 settlement in a workman’s compensation case against the school.

John Pike, who was filmed discharging pepper spray at a line of seated demonstrators in a video that was watched around the world, received the compensation last week.

The Davis Enterprise reported that Pike, 40, had suffered depression and anxiety brought on by death threats to him and his family. The threats followed the 18 November 2011 protest, the newspaper reported.

A judge approved the $38,059 workers’ compensation award between Pike and UC Davis on 16 October.

Pike was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident and was fired eight months later in July 2012 – although an internal investigation actually found he had acted appropriately.

Video filmed at the November 2011 protest showed Pike, who was dressed in riot gear and wearing a helmet with visor, walking along a line of seated protesters spraying a steady stream of orange tear-gas toward their faces.

From around the web.

From the web site,

The cop who mercilessly doused peaceful, seated protesters with pepper spray recently claimed he has psychological injuries from the incident and demanded workman’s compensation.  And California is granting it to him.  The University of California, Davis — a tax funded college — will pay the fired assailant $38,056 to ease his emotional suffering.

The original incident was a memorable one; an iconic image police abuse.  Back on November 18th, 2011, student protesters gathered in a protest against corporatism and state violence.  A group of them sat huddled in a line on a public sidewalk.  Surrounded by cops wearing riot masks and threatening violence, they were attacked — in ironic fashion — with chemical weapons without provocation during their protest.

Lt. John Pike, as well as another officer, used pepper spray canisters the size of fire-extinguishers to drench the peaceful protesters in OC pepper spray.  The incident was captured on video (shown below). The police actions drew worldwide outrage and inspired hundreds of internet memes.

Pepper Spray Cop’s Lament

Pepper spray Demonstration; U.S. Marine Corps ...

Image via Wikipedia

Now for the serious side of pepper spray. This is from wikipedia.

Pepper spray typically comes in canisters, which are often small enough to be carried or concealed in a pocket or purse. Pepper spray can also be bought concealed in items such as rings. There are also pepper spray projectiles available, which can be fired from a paintball gun. It has been used for years against demonstrators. Many such canisters also contain dyes, either visible or UV-reactive, to mark an attacker’s skin and/or clothing to enhance identification by police.

Pepper spray – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna says He’d Do It Again!

‘I’d do it again,’ says police commander filmed pepper spraying the faces of women at Occupy Wall Street protest

Read more:

Well, the raw courage of firing pepper spray into the faces of women safely behind a barrier and then quickly walking away once again demonstrates on the part of Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, a monumental lack of understanding of police procedures and department guidelines.

Don’t give me any nonsense about police fearing for their lives or any other crap. I’ve seen the video several times. I teach courses in criminal justice and know police procedure. You do not quell crowds by pepper spraying peaceful protestors behind barricades. That is likely to provoke the crowd which could endanger other officers. It’s exactly the opposite of what you are supposed to do. It’s difficult to come up with any other interpretation than Anthony Bologna did not like the politics of the demonstrators and misused his authority to harm them to send a message. The worse interpretation possible is that he may  have intended to incite the crowd to violence.

Two weeks loss of pay is a pretty thin penalty for this kind of action. I would go for six weeks suspension without pay.

James Pilant


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