“A former UC Davis police officer whose pepper-spraying of protesters gained worldwide notice thanks to a viral video has been awarded more than $38,000 in workers’ compensation from the university for suffering he experienced after the incident.” [Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle]
More from Lowering the Bar:
Here are some additional facts that are remarkable.
- Pike was on paid leave during the university’s investigation, which for some reason took eight months.
- The investigation found not only that Pike didn’t need to use the spray, but that he used a spray not sanctioned by the department and he used it from an unsafe distance. Seems serious and willful to me.
- Pike was being paid — please be seated — at least $119,000 per year (another report says $121,680) plus benefits, to be a campus policeman in Davis, California.
- Though Pike was fired, he will still get his pension.
- The students he sprayed sued UC Davis for civil-rights violations. The university settled with them for $1 million (plus an apology). Under the settlement, the plaintiffs will each receive, at most, $30,000.
Yes, the man who assaulted the plaintiffs will be getting $8,000 more than any plaintiff will get, as a result of his claim that he was acting within the course of his employment by assaulting them and became emotionally disabled as a result of being accused of assaulting them; he is also allowed to keep a pension that is likely based to some degree on the $119,000 per year the state was paying him to be the kind of officer who pepper-sprays non-violent protesters in the face.