Cop who pepper-sprayed students seeks workers comp, claims psychiatric injury

In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif. AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock, File

DAVIS, Calif. The former police officer who pepper-sprayed students during an Occupy protest at the University of California, Davis is appealing for worker's compensation, claiming he suffered psychiatric injury from the 2011 incident.

The California Department of Industrial Relations' website says John Pike has a settlement conference on Aug. 13 in Sacramento.

An attorney who supported the Occupy UC Davis movement told the Davis Enterprise Thursday that a protest will likely be held outside the courtroom.

Pike was fired eight months after an investigation found that his action was unwarranted.

On November 18, 2011, the officer dispassionately pepper-sprayed a line of several nonviolent protesters sitting on the ground at the University, who flinched and covered their faces but remained passive with their arms interlocked, as onlookers shrieked and screamed out for the officer to stop.

Several students hit by pepper spray were treated at the scene; at least two were taken to hospitals and later released, university officials said.

Online videos of of the incident went viral, prompting national outrage.

The university police chief, Annette Spicuzza, later stepped down.

Hackers posted Pike's information online. He received scores of threats, in addition to mocking posts online incorporating images of him spraying famous figures in history and art.

A judge ultimately ruled against releasing the names of other officers at the scene.

Last September the University settled a lawsuit with 21 demonstrators for $1 million.

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