Ex-campus cop who pepper-sprayed protesters awarded $38K
DAVIS, Calif. (AP) — The former University of California, Davis police officer who pepper-sprayed Occupy protesters has reached a worker's compensation settlement with the university system.I honestly don't know about this one. This is the campus cop that just walked down the line of protestors hosing them down with pepper spray. The narrative was that these peaceful Occupy folks were just minding their own business when out of the blue the heavy-handed campus police unleashed the kraken pepper spray for no reason whatsoever. What was left out of this fairy tale was that the protestors were blocking entrance to the campus, actively harassing folks trying to get to class, and had tangled with the campus police prior to the pepper spraying.
The Davis Enterprise reports that a judge on Oct. 16 approved the $38,000 settlement between John Pike and the University of California.
In the force continuum, pepper spray is about one step above harsh language. It doesn't leave any scars, marks, or bruises; it is excruciatingly unlikely that even a heavy dose could kill someone (except perhaps a severe asthmatic); it's a heck of a lot better than rough hands, night sticks, tasers, or riot gear. Pepper spray in this case was a compliance measure, a crowd control effort. Had they intended to harm the protestors they could have geared up and just dragged them away en masse.
Still, it was a PR nightmare - that image instantly because the rallying point for the Occupy movement. More importantly, it made the University of California at Davis look bad, so the officer involved was (eventually) fired (after 8 months paid vacation). The officer was vilified, threatened, and otherwise punished for actions that, in light of other actions like the LAPD in the Dorner case, were pretty mild. Now he's had his day in court, and the University is some $38K lighter because of it.
I don't really know who to root for, but I'm leaning towards the guy who gave the filthy Occupy hippies a heaping helping of capsicum...
That is all.