Pepper-Spraying Cop Gets Workers' Comp: $38K of It

Which is more than the students he sprayed got in a class-action suit
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2013 9:14 AM CDT
Pepper-Spraying Cop Gets Workers' Comp: $38K of It
In this Nov. 18, 2011 photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif.   (AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock, File)

Apparently, pepper spraying dozens of protesters who are sitting peacefully on the ground in front of you counts as a debilitating—and lucrative—workplace incident. Former UC Davis police officer John Pike has been awarded $38,055 in workers' compensation for the "continuous trauma" he suffered as a result of his infamous spraying fit, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The police union says Pike received more than 17,000 emails and 10,000 texts after his conduct went viral, forcing him to change his phone number, email address, and even physical address. (To say nothing of the horrors of being the target of a weird art meme.) A UC Davis spokesman says the payout "is in line with permanent impairment as calculated by the state's disability evaluation unit." It's more than the school paid to any of Pike's victims, who each received $30,000 in a lawsuit settlement. (More pepper spray stories.)

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