UC Pepper Spray Cop Awarded $38K

John Pike, the former University of California Davis cop who earned worldwide infamy for casually pepper-spraying peaceful seated protesters, has been awarded $38,000 for the mental anguish he “suffered” after the incident.

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. Pike repeatedly changed his phone number and e-mail address and lived in various locations. He left the campus police force in July 2012.

Pike’s payout is more than that paid to each of his dozens of victims.