Former UC Davis cop in pepper-spraying case wants worker’s comp

Then-UC Davis police Lt. John Pike hits protesters with pepper spray on Nov. 18, 2011.
Then-UC Davis police Lt. John Pike hits protesters with pepper spray on Nov. 18, 2011.
(Wayne Tilcock / Associated Press)

The former UC police officer who was internationally condemned for pepper-spraying demonstrators at UC Davis is seeking worker’s compensation, claiming he suffered psychiatric injury as a result of the November 2011 incident.

John Pike has a settlement conference set for Aug. 13 in Sacramento, according to the state Department of Industrial Relations’ website and an Associated Press report.

Pike was fired in July 2012, eight months after a task force investigation found that his action was unwarranted.


An attorney for the union that represents the UC police officers said it would be inappropriate to comment about the worker’s compensation case.

Online videos of Pike and another officer dousing demonstrators close-up with pepper spray went viral, sparking outrage. He allegedly received threats that led an Alameda County Court judge to rule against releasing the names of other officers at the scene.

This week, a state appeals court ruled that the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee are entitled to know the names of a dozen UC police officers who were interviewed about the use of pepper spray but whose names had been redacted from official reports on the incident. However, the court delayed ordering release of those names, pending a decision on whether the police union would appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Settling a civil lawsuit, the UC system last year agreed to pay damages of $30,000 to each of the 21 UC Davis students and alumni pepper-sprayed during the otherwise peaceful protest.


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