Pepper-Spraying UC Davis Officer Previously Honored, Accused

DAVIS (AP) – The riot-clad police officer who pepper sprayed a row of peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters at a UC Davis last week is a retired U.S. Marine sergeant who has been honored for his police work on campus, but also has figured in a previous discrimination suit against the university.

Lt. John Pike was hired onto the UCD police force in 2001. Now, as one of four lieutenants, he supervises more than one-third of the sworn officers on the campus, including the investigations unit.

Pike has been honored twice for meritorious service, including a 2006 incident in which he decided against using pepper spray on a campus hospital patient who was threatening his colleagues with scissors.

But an alleged anti-gay slur by Pike also figured in a racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit a former police officer filed against the department, which ended in a $240,000 settlement in 2008.

Footage of Pike and another officer in riot gear dousing the demonstrators has sparked national outrage since it began circulating Friday night. Both officers and the police chief were placed on administrative leave over the weekend, and campus officials have promised a wide-ranging investigation into the incident.

Raw video of Lt. Pike spraying protesters

Images of the lieutenant also have become the subject of a popular blog, which features his image superimposed on famous paintings and spraying famous figures, from Gandhi to John F. Kennedy. The handcraft site Etsy.com also is selling a t-shirt emblazoned with Pike’s image, but showing flowers coming out of his spray can.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi identified Pike as one of the officers involved in the pepper-spray incident in an interview with the campus television station on Sunday, and university communications staff confirmed his role Tuesday morning.

Shortly after the incident, the hacker group Anonymous, which is affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, posted on its website Pike’s phone number and other personal details.

Pike did not immediately return a message left Tuesday at a home addressed listed in Roseville.

Tuesday, student government leaders on campus condemned the use of pepper spray on student protesters and called for Katehi to resign if she fails to enact reforms.

“Major reforms are needed because regardless of whoever is fired or resigns, it won’t mean anything if we don’t change policy and the way our institutions are run,” Adam Thongsavat, president of the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis said in an interview. “That’s what’s going to affect students and campus policy and bring awareness.”

The students passed a resolution Monday night calling on the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate campus police misconduct. The students are demanding police go through sensitivity training, seek more student representation and review policies on student protests.

Katehi has already asked the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to investigate and Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven confirmed Tuesday that the department will look into the matter.

Attorney General Kamala Harris was deeply disturbed by the videos of the incident, spokeswoman Lynda Gledhill said Tuesday.

“She’s confident they will conduct a quick and thorough investigation of the matter,” Gledhill said.

On Tuesday, about 50 tents formed an encampment on the site where the pepper-spraying happened as students went about going to class. Katehi showed up unexpectedly and asked to address students and occupiers during their general assembly meeting. She left after waiting about 30 minutes for her chance to speak.

The chancellor is expected to make opening remarks Tuesday evening at a town hall meeting for students.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. The other side of the coin says:

    So, to all the “free loving, peacful” students…What would you do to remove students who have been asked to leave (for over 3 hours now)?? Ask them again, “politely” ?? Just because “they” don’t “want too” is not a reason to let their behavior continue. Asking did not work, warning did not work…”your” solution? Just wait they “they” decide to leave on their “own” terms?? Hmmmm…..If so, would you allow me and 200 of my “friends” to set up our own protest in your house or back yard??

    1. Enough is enough says:

      I couldn’t agree more, there is nothing peaceful about ignoring requests to leave when they’ve been asked multiple times. Just because you are not being violent, per say, does not mean it is a peaceful demonstration. Peaceful means obeying the laws, respecting the police, and respecting the property you are one, they did none of this. When you don’t obey the laws, bad things happen, but this generation is too spoiled to realize that. And, sadly, I am part of this generation and am disgusted by all these protests.

      1. ConformistBS says:

        Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. – JFK

      2. NO its NOT says:

        @Enough is enough: Thankfully, you and sheep of your particular wool weren’t around during the late 1700’s when the U.S. was born. With your attitude, we’d still be under the thumb of George IV,

      3. Enough is enough says:

        Let me clarify, I am not disgusted at the protests themselves, but is happening at them and the violence (from everyone) and uncivilized behavior coming out of them (not necessarily UC Davis, mostly the Occupy protests). I will always stand for our right to protest, but come on, at some point we need to say that a protest is getting too dangerous or is detrimental to the argument. And when there is absolute chaos and anarchy at these protests, I think they’ve gone a bit too far.

        Please don’t remind me that this article was about UC Davis and not the Occupy movements, I am just venting in general.

      4. NO its NOT says:

        @Enough is enough: Well, that’s too bad for you, but as a typical modern day example of a ‘Good German,’ it’s to be expected.

      5. Nanette says:

        When injustice is being done, you have to protest. If it means civil disobedience by sitting down, and staying put, this in NO way is being violent. When the law perpetuates injustice, it must be corrected by peaceful means. The duty of police (campus police who are sworn to protect the students) is to stay there and dialogue with them, not to start violence by pepper spraying them. I have experienced this in my native country the Philippines when we were able to bring down the unjust Marcos regime by staying put. Our patient human police force stayed with us the whole night, imploring us to go home for they said they were as tired as we were. Eventually, we did go home and guess what? the unjust Marcos regime eventually was brought down…it can be done if your police force is not made out of thugs. Remember, the purpose of the protests were to correct injustice and I give kudos to the students brave enough to suffer the discomfort of camping out, staying put, and sufferring the effects of pepper spray for the greater good of trying to correct an injustice, however small it might be.

    2. Assume the position says:

      You’ve violated the, “excessive use of quotation marks rule” and are in direct violation of the, “too many question marks directive”. You must be pepper sprayed for your blogging.

      1. ConformistBS says:

        @Assume the position: LOL! Yeah, if he wasn’t already ‘out of their way’ they’d OC Spray JFK himself too these days, f’n fascists!!!

    3. Twobits says:

      No, because you and your friends would just turn out to be fascist sympathizing trolls who condone the erosion of civil liberties.

    4. Jonus says:

      So what exactly is your way of dispersing these young adults who are interlocking there hands? They were not interfering with these campus hooligan rogue police wanna bees. The hooligans were not in fear of anything except maybe they were due for a cold beer at the local pub after work. So what is your answer?

      1. Twobits says:

        Why disperse them at all? Other than sitting in a circle and singing so as to DRAW ATTENTION to the plight of students vs. UC-system tuition fees and want of an affordable, quality post-secondary education, etc, sitting their ground on public property, in front of a goon squad of jack boot thugs employed by the same establishment (UC) that they were calling upon for justice in a proverbial cry for help, just what exactly were their VIOLENT FELONY crimes, deserved of such an OVERKILL reactionary FASCIST, POLICE-STATE response? Whats that? Oh, because they brought media attention to themselves and the economic conundrum of students facing the same, which in turn was making the UC-system look bad, you say? GO FIGURE!!!

  2. czar69 says:

    BullSh!t by your definition, typical evil right wingers propaganda, that is how crazy the right are getting more crazier by the minute. Sad, get Help old fart!

    1. Tiny Little Robots says:

      @czar69: They’re just tiny little robots, expect NOTHING less from them…

  3. History Buff says:

    “And the Beat Goes On”–ladies and gentlemen, these type of incidents are reminiscent of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s eras. So what else is new?

    1. Rebuff says:

      @History Buff: Well, maybe it’s the ever decreasing diameter of the proverbial sphincter hole that is clenching tightly so as to completely extinguish democracy, freedom and liberty, those sorts of things, that’s all. Nothing new under the sun for you.

  4. James says:

    Yeah, the cop was previously honored so he wanted to be the hero again…..except this time it DIDN’T WORK! This Pike a-hole is nothing but a bigot trying to be the hero to get a fat bonus check at the end of the year and a promotion. He deserves to be FIRED!

  5. ugh says:

    What exactly is the point of this article?

  6. jennifer says:

    Ugh, they were NOT Occupy Wall Street protesters, they were protesting tuition hikes! NOT ALL PROTESTS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH OCCUPY.

    1. Ugh says:

      Jenn..i get that part. What I don’t get is why there is mention of that fat ass cop’s past accolade when he was aslo in a discrimination lawsuit where we the taxpayer had to shell out $$ because he is a bigot!!! Why wasn’t he fired???!!!

      And as for the potesters… If I had to endure ANOTHER tuition hike I would be right there with them.

  7. ThatWasThen says:

    Previously honored? Oh how the mighty have FALLEN!!! THAT WAS THEN. THIS IS NOW!

  8. James says:

    ThatWasThen, yeah, honored…..but, take also notice that an anti-gay slur by Pike also figured in a racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit a former police officer filed against the department, which ended in a $240,000 settlement in 2008……yeah he was honored all right….to be a bigot, racist bully abusing his position of authority….FIRE HIS ARSE!

    1. ThatWasThen says:

      @James: Doesn’t surprise me at all. Swine will be swine.

  9. TiredOfThis says:

    I agree also. They were asked Many times and tried to lift them up, but they struggled to stay (according to the raw video). I believe there were a few warnings in that short raw video.
    1. Revealing a can of pepper-spray and sliding down helmet visor. 2. Two cans revealed and being shook. 3. Being asked to move and trying to pull you up. 4. Stepping next to you and shaking the can. 5. Tell to step back 6. Gently stepping over the protesters. 7. Raising the Can.
    I say… those are some warnings to move.
    But let me ask… they had paintball guns. Batons. Why do you think they did not use either of those, but the pepper spray can?
    The officers probably had four choices of removal after heaves of warnings.
    1. Baton beating (if that occurs, protesters will fight back) 2. Paintball to the body (will have protesters possibly move, but in pain), 3. Forcefully wrestled (risk further injury), 4. or Pepper sprayed (being able to not move, and not much injuries involved)
    I would take the pepper spray because it probably be the least painful out of those four choices, in my opinion. (I have experienced being pepper sprayed myself and it is painful.)
    Which would you choose, if you did not want to move?

    I am against my own colleagues, sadly. There is no reason for the officers to be on leave or have Katehi to resign. Plus, without her… UC Davis would probably be worse off IMO. Everyone was doing their job, trying to create a safe community for students to leave.

    1. TiredOfThis says:

      comment is in regards with the other side of the coin

    2. ConformistBS says:

      Fascist sympathize much?

      1. TiredOfThis says:

        “The willingness to accept the penalty for breaking the unjust law is what makes civil disobedience a moral act and not merely an act of lawbreaking.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

      2. ConformistBS says:

        @TiredOfThis: “Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.” ` John Adams 2nd U.S. President

    3. CT says:

      A safe community? Really? UC Davis is a safer community having a racist, bigoted, PIG who is so fat that the only way he can do his job is with pepper spray? If there were no reason for the officers to be on leave, they wouldn’t be. Fortunately there are mature, intelligent people around rather than good like sheeple like you who care only about doing what THE MAN tells them to. Now go ask your boss if you can graze.

  10. b says:

    THE PERSON WHO GAVE THE INSTRUCTIONS TO PEPPER SPRAY SHOULD BE PEPPER SPRAYED THEMSELF ALONG WITH THE ONE WHO DID THE SPRAYING “DO NOT HAND IT OUT IF YOU CAN NOT TAKE IT” IN ADDITION WHEN ANY ONE IS PLACED ON LEAVE IT SHOULD -NOT BE WITH PAY —THAT IS NO PUNISHMENT, ONLY A PAID VACATION……ANY ONE PLACED ON LEAVE SHOULD BE WITHOUT PAY…WHEN THEY ARE PROVEN TO BE RIGHT THEN THIER POSITION SHOUULD BE RESTORED ALONG WITH ALL BACK PAY FROM FIRST DAY ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY. IF THEY ARE WRONG THEY ARE RELEAVE OF THIIER POSITION AND RECEIVE NO PAY……SO YA ALL SET BACK AND GIVE THIS SOME SERIOUS THOUGHT THEN GO FIGURE. I HAD A CO- WORKER WHO WORKED THIS TO HER ADVANTAGE WHEN SHE WANTED OFF WITH PAY SHE WOULD BACK TALK THE MANAGER – SHE KNEW SHE WOULD BE SENT HOME WITH PAY….MANAGEMENT WAS SO WRAPPED UP IN HER-SELF SHE COULD NOT SEE BEYOND HER NOSE..AND EVERYONE WAS LAUGHING AT HER IGNORANCE

  11. B says:

    COME ON KIDS YOU NEED A LEADER TO REPRESENT ALL OF YOU (LIKE A UNION LEADER) ALONG WITH CABNET MEMBERS TO ARRANGE ROUND-TABLE TALKS, I DO AGREE WITH YOU ALL OUR GOVERNMENT FROM FLOOR FOREMAN TO VICE PRSIDENT IS GETTING PAID TOO MUCH THE PRESIDENT SHOULD BE THE HIGHEST PAID IN THIS GOOD COUNTRY … THEY ALL SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO LIVE AND RECEIVE SALARIES LIKE THE REST OF THE COUNTRY….ONE WOULD VERY QUICKLY SEE WHO ARE THE ONES THAT IS TRUSTWORTHY AND WHO TAKE THIS COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE IN IT AT HEART…….THE ONLY THING THE PEOPLE IN HIGH PLALCES ARE INTERESTED IN THESE DAYS ARE THE PERKS AND MONEY,MONEY,MONEY. THEY HAVE NO QUAM INCREASING THE STUDENTS FEES JUST TO GIVE THEMSELF A INCREASE IN SALARY AND MORE PERKS. AN UNEDUCATED STUDENT MAY MAKE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN ONE WHO IS GETTING THE TYPE OF EDUCATION THEY ARE GETTING THESE DAYS… THE TEACHERS DO NOT TEACH, THEY TURN ON THE COMPUTER TELL THE KIDS WHAT THIER LESSON IS AND IF THEY NEED HELP THERE TEACHER WILL BE AT THE FRONT OF THE ROOM, THE TEACHERS NEED TO GO BACK TO COLLEGE TO LEARN HOW TO TEACH…….THEY SHOULD KEEP ONE THING IN MIND WHEN OUR YOUNGER CHILDREN TAKE OFFICE ….HOW ARE THEY GOING TO TREAT THE ONES WHO PEPPER SPRAYED THEM AND OR THIER TEAM MATES????? THERE ARE OTHER WAY (PEACEFUL WAYS TO SETTLE ANYTHING) AND YES IT IS POSSIBLE….(YA ALL KNOW ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU GO ABOUT IT THE RIGHT WAY)GET THE ONES OUT YOU WANT OUT, SET IN THE CLASS ROOM EACH DAY(AS PEACEFUL ADULTS) THAT IS REQUIRED, (A STUDENT CAN TEACH BETTER THAN WHO YOU HAVE NOW) PUT THE PEOPLE IN YOU WANT IN BUT THEY DO NOT GET THE KEY TO THE CITY

  12. ANDY says:

    he should be given another medal for not taking any sh!t from these losers!

    1. ConformistBS says:

      @ANDY: Agent-provocateur troll much?

    2. CT says:

      Yeah, he should be rewarded for being such a fat pig that all he’s able to do is pull out the can of pepper spray. I’m sure if there was a need for an officer to do anything physical like pursue someone, he’d have to excuse himself.

  13. BC says:

    Boo Hoo They were obstructing a path of travel that is not acceptable in any protest….. notice only the persons in the immediate area of the path were sprayed.. so boo hoo who cares … KOVR why dont you ASK questions of those that were sprayed as to why they decided not to stop obstructing the path…Get that ANSWER.. also show the entire video not the short pointed actions..

    1. ConformistBS says:

      Yeah that’s what the tank driver said in Tiananmen Square, China back in 1989. These JACKBOOTS acted WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION! LOOSE CANNONS.

      http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/11/22/former-police-chief-to-investigate-uc-davis-pepper-spraying/

      “In her opening remarks, Katehi said she did not authorize the use of force on Friday, only the removal of tents on the quad, which is is against university policy.”

      So, back to your CAVE, B.C.

  14. Heather K says:

    To the best of my knowledge, the protests were protesting 3 things. 1)Proposed 81% fee increases. 2)In solidarity over the “police brutality” at UC Berkley the previous week. 3) Occupy Wall St.
    Again, to the best of my knowledge, the fee increases were the main protest point, not OWS. This is an important point. Please show the entire truth.

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