Pepper-spray cop gets a bigger settlement than his Occupy victims

Former U.C. Davis officer John Pike will receive $38,000 workers' comp, after he cruelly sprayed sitting students

By Natasha Lennard

Published October 24, 2013 2:43PM (EDT)

 Pepper-spray Cop in action (Louise Macabitas)
Pepper-spray Cop in action (Louise Macabitas)

Former University of California, Davis, officer John Pike -- better known as "pepper-spray cop" -- became a viral online meme after he was videoed and pictured wantonly spraying pepper gas in the faces of Occupy protesters on the Davis campus as they sat passively in a row.

Now pepper-spray cop will receive in workers' compensation a settlement higher than the sums received from the university by each of his victims. Pike -- whose actions lost him his job following an inquiry -- was awarded a $38,000 settlement for "psychiatric injuries" incurred from his treatment following the incident (in which, I repeat, he showered a row of sitting young people with excruciating gas). U.C. Davis awarded $1 million to 21 plaintiffs, which, following the payout of legal fees, has left each student with $30,000 -- $8,000 less than their aggressor will receive.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

MORE FROM Natasha LennardFOLLOW natashalennardLIKE Natasha Lennard