Chutzpah, Thy Name Is Pike

Abby Zimet

John Pike, the former UC Davis cop who casually pepper-sprayed students during a 2011 peaceful protest, is seeking workers' compensation, claiming he suffered psychiatric injury from the incident. No, really. Pike was fired after eight months' paid leave; he told investigators he used pepper spray “to gain compliance (and) get my troops out of there," but they decided he was a jerk anyway. In the aftermath, the university settled a $1 million lawsuit filed by demonstrators, its police chief resigned and Pike became a viral meme, Occupy rallying cry, and object of so much harassment that a judge refused to release the names of other officers at the scene until this week, when FOIA requests from two news organizations finally overturned that ruling. Pike has a hearing next month to support his claim of psychological injury. Still, you'd think that anyone who deliberately chose to douse peaceful, seated, defenseless people in the face in order to inflict excruciating pain on them for no discernible reason might perhaps have already been psychologically injured even before his 15 minutes of fame and sadism...? Just sayin'.

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