The UC Davis campus police officer known for pepper-spraying a group of peaceful protesters in 2011 during an Occupy movement rally was awarded a settlement of $38,056 by a judge on October 16. A report from Northern California newspaper, The Davis Enterprise, states that John Pike “reportedly suffered depression and anxiety” from death threats received after the November 18, 2011 incident.
A spokesperson for the University said, “This case has been resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers’ compensation.”
The claim ”resolves all claims of psychiatric injury specific or due to continuous trauma” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Pike’s disability was rated as “moderate” according to a report released by California’s Department of Industrial Relations.
Pike was suspended with pay after the incident. The Chronicle reports his salary was $119,067 in 2011. Pike reportedly changed his phone number and email address multiple times and lived in several locations. In the wake of the pepper-spraying controversy, Anonymous published Pike’s personal information online. He left the UC Davis police force in July 2012.
After the video of the pepper-spraying went viral, Pike received more than 17,000 emails, 10,000 text messages, and hundreds of letters–all angry or threatening–according to the local police union. In response to Pike’s settlement, Bernie Goldsmith, a Davis, California lawyer supportive of the protesters, said this “sends a clear message to the next officer nervously facing off with a group of passive, unarmed students: Go on ahead. Brutalize them. Trample their rights. You will be well taken care of.”
In January, UC Davis agreed to pay students who were pepper-sprayed by Pike or arrested in the incident a settlement of $1 million. According to The Atlantic, each of the 21 plaintiffs involved would have received around $30,000 after legal fees–around $8,000 less than the settlement awarded to John Pike.