Former UC Davis officer John Pike, famous for casually pepper spraying a group of students in the face during a 2011 protest, was awarded a $38,000 settlement for psychiatric injuries for the way he was treated afterwards. Pike, who was eventually fired, filed a workers compensation claim this summer.
That means that Pike, who walked up to a group of sitting, passive students and pepper sprayed their faces, will get a comparable compensation from the university to that awarded to the students he targeted. UC Davis has also settled with the students actually targeted by Pike's pepper spray, agreeing to pay out $1 million total to 21 plaintiffs. That breaks down to a bit less per student than Pike himself will get: $30,000 per plaintiff, plus a $250,000 sum for their lawyers to split and a handful of other delegated portions of the award. The university also formally apologized as part of the settlement. Pike's settlement includes $5,700 in legal fees for his lawyer in the case.
Pike was eligible for worker's comp from the incident after a psychiatrist found that the former officer has a "moderate" disability, ABC affiliate KXTV explains. He claimed to have "suffered depression and anxiety over the way he was treated in the wake of the incident," they note. The Davis Enterprise has more from that evaluation, via a public records request:
Pike faced “continuing and significant internal and external stress with respect to resolving and solving the significant emotional upheavals that have occurred” in his life and had not shown evidence of substantial improvement, concluded Lieberman, who spoke with Pike twice in 2012.
Pike became one of the villains for the Occupy movement in November of 2011 thanks to a widely-circulated video showing the incident at the college. That video, among other things, prompted Anonymous to target Pike for online harassment, which included the publication of his contact information and home address.
The incident prompted an internal affairs investigation into the conduct of Pike and a handful of other officers that day. He, another officer, and UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza were suspended with pay coinciding with that investigation. Spicuzza retired in April of 2012.