Police State/Civil Liberties

Campus police officer who pepper-sprayed peaceful student protesters is awarded £25,000 in compensation for ‘psychiatric injuries’

A disgraced campus police officer, who made international headlines in 2011 after being pictured pepper-spraying students at a Occupy Wall Street protest, has been awarded £25,000 in compensation for ‘psychiatric injuries’ he allegedly experienced as a result of his actions.

John Pike was caught on video spraying peaceful protesters seated on the ground with pepper spray at the University of California. His actions drew worldwide opprobrium and led to Mr Pike being fired in July 2012 after eight months of paid administrative leave.

The images of Mr Pike spraying protesters with the orange liquid became a symbol of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The 40-year-old former officer said that as a result of the publicity surrounding the incident he suffered depression and anxiety after death threats were sent to him and his family over the incident on November 18, 2011.

Mr Pike, who was fired on a salary of $121,680 (£75,120), has been awarded compensation by UC Davis. The court agreed payment means that the officer has been better compensated that the victims of his pepper spraying.

The university agreed to settle a $1million (£617,360) federal suit for the students involved. The 21 claimants received $30,000 (£18,520) each and 15 others $6,666 (£4,115).

“This case has been resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers’ compensation,” UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell told the Davis Enterprise.
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