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Police officer who pepper-sprayed protesters leaves UC Davis

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AUGUST 01, 2012

Lt. John Pike — the police officer who pepper-sprayed seated protesters at an Occupy Davis protest last November — is no longer employed by UC Davis.

According to UC Davis spokesperson Claudia Morain, Pike’s last day was Tuesday. Beyond that, Morain said UC Davis “cannot comment on personnel matters under state law and university policy.”

During the Nov. 18 incident, Pike and another police officer pepper-sprayed students protesting university-wide budget cuts after they refused to move from their seated position on the campus quad.

Soon after, a media storm surrounding a cell phone video of the incident erupted, broadcasting the controversy worldwide and igniting multiple investigations, lawsuits and protests.

Three days after the incident, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi apologized on campus to a crowd of UC Davis students who continued to call for her resignation.

In April, a task force led by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso released a report that placed blame for the incident on the campus’ administrators and police. According to the report, Pike and unidentified “Officer O” were not authorized to employ the spray, and had not been trained to use the more powerful type of pepper spray they had.

The spray was also used improperly at too close of a distance, according to the report.

Although the names of the other officers involved were to be released in June, according to Morain, UC Davis cannot disclose the officer names because the issue has been recently moved to the court of appeals.

Following the report, UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza stepped down, and Pike was suspended and placed on paid leave. According to The Sacramento Bee, Pike’s 2010 salary was listed as $110,243.12.

Contact Karishma Mehrotra at 


AUGUST 01, 2012

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