UC Pays Cop Who Pepper-Sprayed Davis Students
Former UC Davis police Lt. John Pike is back in the news: The university has agreed to pay Pike $38,056 in workers’ compensation for psychological injuries suffered after he pepper-sprayed dozens of students during a campus protest in November 2011.
Pike went on leave and was eventually fired after the incident, videos of which were distributed widely on the Internet. In filing for compensation, he said he suffered depression and anxiety after he and his family became the targets of death threats and other harassment.
The state’s Disability Evaluation Unit determines permanent disability ratings based on doctors’ reports.
Richard Lieberman, a Piedmont psychiatrist acting as the agreed-upon expert, rated Pike’s disability as “moderate,” according to a Jan. 5 psychiatric report released by the state Department of Industrial Relations in response to a public records request.
Pike faced “continuing and significant internal and external stress with respect to resolving and solving the significant emotional upheavals that have occurred” in his life, and had not shown evidence of substantial improvement, concluded Lieberman, who spoke with Pike twice in 2012.
A second psychiatrist, Bernard Bauer of San Francisco, blindly scored Pike’s responses on a battery of psychological tests.
Last year, the University of California settled a civil-rights lawsuit filed on behalf of 21 students whom Pike pepper-sprayed. They received about $30,000 each in the settlement. Fifteen other students who filed for compensation got about $6,000 each.
A UC Davis spokesperson said Pike’s compensation claim had been resolved in accordance with state law.