Lawsuit: Cop wins more than students he pepper sprayed

Lt. John Pike said he was able to look so casual while pepper spraying seated students because he's a professional. (AP Photo)

Lt. John Pike said he was able to look casual while pepper spraying seated students because he's a professional. (AP Photo)

It’s an unfortunate thing for humanity that karma does not exist.

If it did, the population of jerks walking the Earth would crash faster than healthcare.gov and people that do awful things wouldn’t be allowed to file lawsuits.

But a former University of California Davis police officer made infamous by pictures and videos of him pepper spraying seemingly harmless Occupy protesters sued and won more than the people he casually hosed down with chemicals.

Lt. John Pike, 40, was recently awarded $38,000 in worker’s compensation because he suffered from depression and anxiety due to public outcry after the November 2011 incident.

The students successfully sued the university for $1 million, or about $30,000 per affected demonstrator.

Millions of people that watched the YouTube video thought Pike’s actions were criminal, but fellow police officers (aka “internal affairs”) looked into it and said he acted appropriately.

Pike was put on paid leave from his $110,000-a-year job (not a typo) for eight months and then fired.

A university lawyer said Pike’s win sends a clear message to police officers: “Go on ahead. Brutalize [protesters]. Trample their rights. You will be well taken care of.”

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104 comments Add your comment

Bernie31

October 24th, 2013
10:20 pm

Our Very own Domestic Terrorists that wear Blue,carry Badges,Guns,Tasers,Batons,Pepper spray, Radios and Cuffs. I FEAR these Terrorists MORE than any that come from the Middle East.

Avoiding ALL and Any Contact at ALL regarding any ISSUE.

S

October 25th, 2013
7:03 am

I agree with Bernie31

darb

October 25th, 2013
7:07 am

People need to make a reasonable salary, but $110,000 for this guy? Thats too much.

Lucy

October 25th, 2013
7:14 am

Why @s cause the officer was doing his JOB?! The occupiers here in Atlanta did 10s of 1,000 of dollars in damage to city property, and nothing happened to them because of the wonderful Mayor Reed. That’s wasted taxpayer money, for what? Notice the article says “seemingly harmless”. The students were most likely told to leave or there would be consequences (i know novel concept), and they refused to comply. Just because they are peaceful doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want. As to the “no typo” sentence for the officers pay-I can assure you that $110,000 by California cost of living is not very much. If you and Bernie fear the police so much please be sure and NOT call 911 when you need assistance.

Hand Full of Spades

October 25th, 2013
7:15 am

A University of California Police Officer making $110,000 annually? Do big city officers even top out at that much? Where/How/and what credentials are needed for me to apply?

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
7:22 am

Lucy, you are an uncivilized savage. I hope there aren’t too many people like you in our society but I am not confident that my hope is true.

Lucy

October 25th, 2013
7:23 am

@handful of spades I assure you City of Atlanta does not- cost of living mean anything to you?

Lucy

October 25th, 2013
7:24 am

@mark matia- really what makes me uncivilized?

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
7:24 am

Bernie, I think you are correct. Authority tends to corrupt people but authority with weapons is a sure thing.

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
7:28 am

Lucy, look at the picture and reread your post. If you still can’t determine why you are an uncilivized savage then you are incurable.

Lucy

October 25th, 2013
7:30 am

Oh I guess maybe the police should have just shot them like they’d probably do say if this was Mexico, China, Guatemala (remember Tienanmen Square)- you know some place MORE CIVILIZED. After 20+ years of being married to a City of Atlanta cop,and working with many others from around this area, I look forward to the day when they lay down their gun belts and let the good CIVILIZED citizens of this city defend themselves-have at it.

Bearhand

October 25th, 2013
7:30 am

Peaceful protestors who are nonviolent and have ‘not’ attacked a police officer, should be treated by those police officers in the same manner. That means no billy clubs to the face, neck, head, legs, and torsos. No tazing or pepper spraying or assaulting them with fire-hoses. No setting police dogs against them.

Lucy

October 25th, 2013
7:31 am

@ mark matia- like I said the cop was doing the job he was told to do. Just because you have captured a single moment in time doesn’t tell the entire story.

mistletoe

October 25th, 2013
7:31 am

I remember this, no peace officer with intellect and a conscience would have acted on this order unless it was written out and handed to him by his superior.

That is why he was fired how he secured compensation is from a damn good attorney obviously.

Lucy

October 25th, 2013
7:33 am

I’d guarantee that the officer told the students they’d be sprayed if they didn’t leave. They’ve hidden their faces-totally knew it was coming.

woodrow

October 25th, 2013
7:43 am

It sounds like the lawyers made a fast buck and nothing was gained by any of this.

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
7:44 am

mistletoe, you are correct but unfortunately the evidence suggests that there are too few cops with “intellect and a conscience”. There are far too many authoritarian bully’s with badges and weapons. May God help us all.

Dwayne

October 25th, 2013
7:44 am

Dwayne

October 25th, 2013
7:47 am

I was not there, but if they were told to leave, and didn’t…they knew what was coming.

Lucy

October 25th, 2013
7:48 am

Oh, I know lets do this, take away the gun belts of police, and the arms of the military, put our amazingly intelligent and civilized citizens in charge-oh goodness- utopia- kumbaya everyone. Off to do a happy dance cause i JUST solved all the country’s problems.

Hidden agenda

October 25th, 2013
7:49 am

I can’t believe I am saying this, but I agree with Bernie31 too. Now if Bernie would just apply everything that he realizes is wrong with the government “protection” services to the rest of government and its monopoly he might finally coming around to realizing that the problem IS government, not just the people who get elected in that theater we call “democracy.”

Hidden agenda

October 25th, 2013
7:49 am

People won’t forget this guy. His time will come.

John Buck

October 25th, 2013
7:53 am

Hahhah…What a joke? 30 people decide they don’t like something so they obstruct and defile public and private property. Thousands of others are impeded or having their rights impinged by denied access or use of that same property. But to you bleeding hearts, the rights of the 30 far outweigh the rights of everyone else because ” they are peaceful” or “they really care”.

Truth be told these punks didn’t get hugged enough as children and are simply looking for attention. They schedule these sit ins hoping to get sprayed so they can go viral on Youtube and sue. It worked. They get to go another year without doing anything more constructive than being a nuisance; all for the cost of 30 minutes of discomfort.

PD did a great job. To all you guys trashing the officer; I think you ought to stage a sit-in in front of the police department to show him how you really feel.

RCH

October 25th, 2013
7:54 am

Lucy

The German SS storm Troopers were ordered to shoot innocent men, women and children. Did that make it O.K.? It is justifiable to refuse to carry out an illegal order.

What next? Pressure water and dogs. They were not resisting. Pick them up, handcuff them and take them away.

John Buck

October 25th, 2013
7:59 am

Pepper spray is used for the benefit of the suspect. It distracts them long enough to be subdued without injury to the subject or the officer. The effects of pepper spray wears off in 20-30 minutes. Broken arms take a bit longer to heal.

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
8:02 am

hidden agenda, very good post. government is the problem. maybe people are waking up. some people have a pathological need to dominate, control and taken to its furthest extent physically harm others. people like this gravitate to politics and police. that being said there are some good politicians and cops i have met a few but they are not in the majority.

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
8:04 am

john buck, are you thinking when you type? these people were already subdued. the pepper spray was sadistic torture. that cop is a sociopath along with the other sissy cops that watched him do it.

RCH

October 25th, 2013
8:10 am

John Buck, Say what?

The National Institute of Justice, a research arm of the Department of Justice, issued a report (pdf) in 2003 on the matter, and found that pepper spray was a leading cause of death in two of the 63 fatalities examined. Both cases of death involved people with asthma.

Reality Check

October 25th, 2013
8:13 am

I like how LUCY has completely owned MARK MATIA in this thread. Mark is about as womanly of a bleeding heart doosh as you could ever imagine.

LoganvilleGuy

October 25th, 2013
8:13 am

As already pointed out, the picture doesn’t tell the entire story…

Were the protesters told they were breaking the law? Were they told that if they failed to move, they would be pepper-sprayed? Were they given sufficient time to move?

If the answer is yes, then I don’t have an issue with the police doing their job.

Reality Check

October 25th, 2013
8:14 am

MARK MATIA definitely sits down to pee.

Grasshopper

October 25th, 2013
8:15 am

“People won’t forget this guy. His time will come.”

Don’t tell me you wish bodily harm on another. How brutal.

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
8:19 am

reality check, I am “womanly” enough to use my real name. blogs make tough guys out of just about anybody. maybe you are just as tough as the sissy cops that abused handcuffed kids sitting on their asses.

xxx

October 25th, 2013
8:34 am

Were they expecting to get drumming and chanting credits? Patchouli must not work on peper spray.

Harvey

October 25th, 2013
8:39 am

Hey, y’all quit picking on Lucy.

Humpty Dumpty

October 25th, 2013
8:45 am

99% of cops give the rest a bad name.

SA

October 25th, 2013
8:53 am

$110,000 for a no skilled job? Or is it 110k to just be a goon.

Mr Smiley

October 25th, 2013
8:57 am

I’d take a shot of pepper spray to the face for $30k any day. Anyone ever think the occupiers did this on purpose? After all, they’re goal is to be given handouts for doing nothing.

S3

October 25th, 2013
8:58 am

A picture is worth a thousand words and from the looks of this one and several others that I’ve seen, these students were either sitting on the ground or standing in protest. Really this takes me back to the 60’s when fire hoses were used on peaceful protesters in AL, Civil disobedience does not warrant fire hoses, attack dogs or in this century pepper spray.

As for the 110k salary… My best friend is a cop with rank and for nearly 20 yrs and he doesn’t come near that salary. But then he’s not a prestigious university cop either. Just a county boy…

wakeup

October 25th, 2013
9:10 am

Reality Check, Lucy, and other right wingers on here. Think how you would react differently if these protesters were protesting Obamacare and the police showed up and started pepper spraying them. Would you still side with the police when these people were just exercising their right to protest something that they felt is an injustice? What if these kids were your kids? You don’t have to be a bleeding heart to have some sort of a sense of empathy for people when the governement oversteps their authority. WAKE UP!

WOW

October 25th, 2013
9:13 am

Lucy it is apparent you are upset because your spouse is a city of Atlanta cop. Well my Uncle is a Lieutenant and I must say he never would have done this. If force was needed before he pepper sprayed them he would have arrested them if needed they had more than enough officers on hand. This is sad you would uplift such behavior. And for the record I work in the Fulton county Judicial Circuit and I am thankful that law enforcement is present I feel safe when I have to go attend court but, I don’t want them behaving in such a wreckless manner and harming unarmed citizens.

Hidden agenda

October 25th, 2013
9:17 am

And now Janet “big sister” Napolitano is the president of the University of California. Don’t be surprised to see another Kent State under her reign.

Chuck Allison

October 25th, 2013
9:25 am

The students should have gotten NOTHING. No compensation for Occupy demonstrators. 1,000,000 is more than $38,000. And Lt. Pike was just doing hi s job of removing those creeps.

Don't Tread

October 25th, 2013
9:45 am

Well Bernie, seeing as how you (and many other liberals on these blogs) side with the criminal in a criminal vs. victim scenario, it’s no surprise you view the police as “domestic terrorists”. You probably should fear them. How long is your rap sheet?

The former NSA chief getting a tiny little taste of his own medicine is rich…as is the revelation that the NSA has tapped the phones of our allies’ leaders.

nhendrix

October 25th, 2013
9:46 am

Lucy, so if pepper spraying is o.k., what about using a taser, is that o.k.? What about kicking them in the head or groin, heck, how about shooting them? Where do you draw the line? IMHO pepper spraying is pretty severe punishment for just sitting there. I truly believe the guy deserved to get fired and feel like all right thinking cops should agree because this reflects on the ones that are good guys and good cops.

Miss Daisy

October 25th, 2013
9:47 am

Hey, I’m all for the officer. This gaggle of occupy fools deserved to be AT LEAST gassed; break the law, be willing to take the consequences.
I’d hire the guy in a minute; someone willing to enforce the law of the land and not the law of political correctness.

Fletch

October 25th, 2013
9:53 am

I still kind of think it’s funny that UC Davis kids were joining the Occupy movement…you know, considering they are probably there on the dime of their dad’s 1%er money and all. Anything to be part of a movement whether it is total hypocrisy or not I guess…

And nice salary for a campus cop! I still remember reading that 127k is the AVERAGE salary of a Chicago Public Schools teacher…not including benefits or pension. So who are the real 1%ers again?

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
10:00 am

how cute Miss Daisy. The only problem your your thinking (putting aside the moral issue of torturing people instead of taking them to jail) is that one day all of these horrible liberals may wield sufficient, unchallenged power and do the same to people like you! Can you imagine the horror if you were protesting an unjust tax increase and you were treated this way? Take note all you angry law and order types posting thoughtless drivel.

David Owens

October 25th, 2013
10:01 am

The occupiers got exactly what they wanted. The event was staged for the purpose of provoking a reaction from the police which could be taken out of context and used as “evidence” of police brutality against the poor, innocent, noble protesters. It was propaganda, pure and simple, and all of you who fell for it are chumps.

mark matia

October 25th, 2013
10:05 am

if it was just colored water that they were sprayed with then i took the bait and was duped