UC Davis Pepper Spray Cop Files Workers’ Comp Claim

Former University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Lt. John Pike is claiming he suffered psychiatric and nervous system damage as a result of the 2011 video-taped incident showing him pepper spraying “Occupy” protesters.

Pike, who was fired from the department, filed the workers’ comp complaint last month, reports Reuters.

An independent committee that reviewed the pepper spraying of protesters at UC Davis in November 2011 stated in its after-action report that there were numerous lapses and errors made by campus administrators and officers, concluding the incident “should and could have been prevented.” The “Reynoso Task Force Report” blamed Chancellor Linda Katehi, Chief Annette Spicuzza, and Pike for mishandling the removal of Occupy protestors and their tents from the campus.

The report also took aim at the police operation. Most notably, the report claimed the use of pepper spray was “not supported by objective evidence” and the MK-9 aerosol canister had not been authorized for use by officers.

While acknowledging the officers’ concerns that they were surrounded by a hostile mob, the task force said the situation escalated because no arrangements had been made to transport arrestees from the quad. The report criticized Pike for his actions and body language, including stepping over seated protesters to “get to their faces.

For his part, Pike repeatedly warned protestors that they would be pepper-sprayed if they did not disperse. He also voiced concerns about the plan to remove protestors and felt that the operation should have been called off.

Read the full story.

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