‘Pepper spray cop’ demands pay for ‘psychiatric injury’

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, July 26, 2013 13:51 EDT
google plus icon
Former U.C. Davis officer John Pike casually deploys pepper spray against a group of peaceful protesters. Screenshot via YouTube.
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

A police officer who was caught on camera hosing down a group of student protesters with pepper spray for no apparent reason has filed for worker’s compensation, asking taxpayers to pay him for a “psychiatric injury” he claims to have sustained in the incident’s wake.

Officer John Pike was fired about eight months after his antics at the University of California-Davis became the subject of a viral Internet meme that saw thousands of famous photos edited to include him pepper-spraying various people and things.

He’s expected to be appearing at a settlement hearing in August, according to The Associated Press, where Pike hopes to be awarded compensation for a “psychiatric injury.”

Pike claims he received dozens of threatening messages following the pepper-spraying incident, thanks to hackers who dredged up his personal information and shared it widely.

Those threats are why a judge refused last year to release the names of other officers on the scene that day, but on appeal earlier this week a separate court ruled that news media has a right to those officers’ names.

Former U.C. Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza told Fox 40 in Sacramento that she did not make the decision to pepper-spray students on that day, but insisted that the other officers must not be named in public.

“The last thing I want to see is that these unnamed officers have to go through what I went through, as well as the lieutenant,” she said. “We dealt with death threats. I had to leave the state for a month because of the death threats and fear for my safety and my family.”

This video is from CBS Sacramento, broadcast Friday, July 26, 2013.

This video is from Fox 40, broadcast Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.