Former Lt. John Pike, the “pepper spray cop” who became a viral meme in late 2011, is no longer stationed at UC Davis after a clip of him pepper spraying Occupy Wall Street protesters went viral — and he is now seeking compensation due to the incident’s effect on him.
Memes involving the pepper spray cop became huge after the video — in which John Pike is seen dousing protesters at a UC Davis Occupy protest with pepper spray despite the fact they are kneeling in a line and not physically resisting arrest.
The incident became an Occupy flashpoint and a huge controversy at the height of the protests, and John Pike as well as university officials were called to answer for the incident. The video embedded above of Pike liberally pepper spraying the protesters has more than 1.8 million views, and a later suit settled with the protesters for $1 million.
Now Pike, who was fired in July 2012 over the incident, is seeking Workers’ Comp and claiming that the pepper spray cop incident and subsequent fallout caused him “psychiatric injury,” and ABC reports:
“Online videos of him and another officer casually dousing demonstrators with pepper spray went viral, sparking outrage at UC Davis leaders. The images became a rallying symbol for the Occupy Wall Street movement… Hackers posted Pike’s information online. He received scores of threats that led an Alameda County Court judge to rule against releasing the names of other officers at the scene.”
The pepper spray cop has a hearing scheduled regarding his Workers’ Comp claim on August 13. Earlier this month, a court ruled that officers present on the scene — whose names had initially been redacted due to harassment to which Pike had been subject — should have their names released to news organizations.