UC Davis police lieutenant John Pike, who notoriously and brutally doused a line of student protesters in the face with military-grade pepper spray, now seeks worker's compensation for psychiatric injury he suffered following the infamous 2011 Occupy rally.
A settlement hearing is scheduled for August 13th in Sacramento, the Davis Enterprise reports, at which Pike will make his case for why his psyche was so injured in the incident. In the aftermath of the event, video of the protest became a rallying point for Occupiers everywhere and racked up millions of views on YouTube. Pike's image was eventually meme'd into oblivion before that trend reached its logical conclusion and a San Francisco restaurant used the image to sell hot sauce.
Pike, whose salary tipped over $120,000 a year, went on paid leave for eight months during the investigation. He later had to leave his post at UC Davis in July of 2012. If he receives the requested disability benefits, his income, health, and other benefits will be covered until he reaches 65.
As Occupy Davis sympathizer and local attorney Bernie Goldsmith told the Enterprise in an email, "In an ideal democracy, violent suppressors of political speech are jailed and not rewarded. This sends a message that acts of violent political repression can be both insulated from real criminal prosecution and rewarded."
A protest has been scheduled for the day of Pike's hearing next month and looks to counter the former officer's request in the most sarcastic way possible. Occupy UC Davis is calling the event the "Officer Pike Fiesta of Emotional Support and Caring" and hopes to "show him that we'll always be there for him, ready to remind him of all the wonderful things he has done to us."
In a settlement last year, the University paid out $30,000 to each of the 21 students injured by Officer Pike.