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Police Officer Who Pepper-Sprayed Occupy Protesters Wants Worker's Comp

The man behind the meme says he suffered "psychiatric injury."

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John Pike, the former UC Davis police lieutenant who famously pepper-sprayed a group of students in 2011, is reportedly seeking worker's comp for "psychiatric injury."

Pike was suspended on paid leave after the incident and fired eight months later, in July 2012. Now the former Marine sergeant claims he suffered from the scores of online threats he received after the above image went viral.

Pike's settlement conference is set for Aug. 13. An attorney who supported Occupy UC Davis told the Davis Enterprise that a protest is likely.

"In an ideal democracy, violent suppressors of political speech are jailed and not rewarded. This sends a message that acts of violent political repression can be both insulated from real criminal prosecution and rewarded," [Bernie] Goldsmith wrote in an email message.

Earlier this week, a California court ruled that the names of the other UC Davis officers involved in the protest could not be withheld. UC and the police officers union have thus far attempted to keep the names private.

In the aftermath of the pepper-spray incident, the University of California system paid $1 million to affected protesters.

Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jessica Testa at

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