Cop Comped

Pepper sprayer hits the jackpot


Pepper spray

In November 2011, Lt. John Pike, a police officer at the University of California, Davis, was caught on video pepper spraying nonviolent protesters in the face. In October 2013, the Division of Workers' Compensation awarded him $38,055 for the suffering he is said to have endured following the incident.

The footage of Pike attacking the protesters, who were sitting on a sidewalk during a demonstration against tuition increases, quickly went viral, serving as fodder for many memes and parodies. Following the incident, Pike reportedly lived at various locations. He received thousands of angry emails and text messages after the hacking group Anonymous leaked his contact information. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Pike was suspended with pay and earned $119,067 in 2011. He left the force in July 2012.

Earlier in 2013, after settling a federal lawsuit, the university paid a total of $1 million to the 36 people who were sprayed. Pike therefore received more compensation than each of the protesters he assaulted.