John Pike, shown here in most infamous action of pepper-spraying protesters at UC Davis, is now receiving disability for his actions. (Image Sources: Examiner, Reuters)
Earlier this year, we reported on University of California at Davis police officer John Pike, known by many as the police officer responsible for pepper-spraying student protesters of the Occupy Davis while they were sitting prone, seeking a disability claim for "psychiatric damage." Pike claimed he suffered "depression and anxiety" after receiving death threats from people concerning his rather callous and heinous actions. Last week, not only did the State of California approve his disability claim, but he received a claim of $38,056, more than the payout of each student who was pepper-sprayed in a separate settlement.
John Pike gained notoriety for his actions in the video above. As anyone can essentially see, Pike was acting rather callously and carelessly, pepper-spraying the prone protesters as though he were a graffiti artist to a bench. Consequently, the video caused a brief resurgence in the declining Occupy movement, and Pike was eventually fired as a police officer at UC Davis several months later. One would think that would play a role in any dispute with government authorities.
However, John Pike apparently suffered enough "trauma" from the aftermath of the incident, including death threats to himself and his family that, through a local psychiatrist, was able to deem his situation as a "moderate" disability. After some discussion between UC Davis officials and Pike, Administrative Law Judge Harter granted the fired officer the $38,056 in workers' compensation out of the whole deal. In comparison, the $1 million settlement between UC Davis and Occupy Davis protesters will net only $30,000 for the 21 who were either pepper-sprayed or arrested by UC Davis cops.
More unfortunate though, is not just the implication that John Pike got special treatment, but that he will keep receiving treatment afterward: Because he worked for UC Davis for more than 11 years prior to being fired, Pike is eligible for retirement benefits and a pension. Before the Occupy Davis incident, John Pike was earning an annual salary of more than $120,000. Sometimes, the notion that the cops receive special treatment just seems justified.