|The famous Pepper Spray Cop, John Pike, in|
action in 2011.
Remember the famous Pepper Spray Cop? He's $38,000 richer for his efforts, thanks to a worker's compensation claim. Not a bad day's work.
Here's the back story:
Back in the good old days (2011) Occupy Wall Street protestors were out in force, railing against big banks, income inequality, fraud, and bad banking laws.
In some places, including the University of California/Davis, the demonstrators were persistent, not moving out of the way when told to, basically being underfoot. They weren't violent, but they were engaging in civil disobedience.
At UC/Davis, John Pike, who would win infamy as the Pepper Spray Cop, casually and very heavily pepper sprayed a group of seated demonstrators. He kind of looked like a bored homeowner spraying Raid on a cluster fly nest or something
Video and photos of this idiot went viral. He was fired, and pretty much everybody disliked him intensely, which is reasonable. He got thousands of mean and threatening emails, messages and letters, especially after the group Anonymous released Pike's personal information
The death threats against Pike were of course definitely NOT reasonable, and he filed a workers compensation claim because of the stress of the death threats.
He was also the (deserved) subject of derisive humor. I especially loved the Tumblr site full of photo shopped images of Pike pepper spray all kinds of interesting people and things.
According to the Davis Enterprise newspaper, Pike has received $38,056 in his workers compensation claim, for anxiety, stress and depression caused by all the hate that has gone his way.
That's more than the $30,000 each of the 21 protestors who got sprayed and sued got from a settlement agreement with UC/Davis. And much more than the $6,666 each of 15 other protesters got
Seems like a lawyer the Enterprise quoted might have a point with this comment:
"Bernie Goldsmith, a Davis lawyer supportive of the protestors, said that the settlement '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."
The law appears to be on Pike's side, even if common decency and common sense are not. According to the Christian Science Monitor:
"'Whether you can get compensation when you're the aggressor varies among states, but there certainly are a number of states (including California) where, even though you've done something that most people would find offensive, the aggressor can still be compensated,' said John Burton Jr., a labor law expert and professor emeritus at Rutgers University. "
So, kiddies, if you want to make a quick buck, become a low rent security officer and pepper spray the demonstrators closest to you.
It's all for fun and profit, you understand.