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Lt John Pike UC Davis Pepper Spray Prompts Historic Occupy Lawsuit

Posted: November 21st, 2011 in John Pike,Lt John Pike,UC Davis by LALATE

Lt John Pike UC Davis Pepper Spray Prompts Historic Occupy Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – The Lt John Pike UC Davis Pepper Spray attack from Friday is prompting a historic civil rights lawsuit. Did Lt John Pike act alone in the UC Davis Pepper Spray 2011 attack, or was Pike acting pursuant to instructions by UC Davis and City of Davis officials? That will ultimately be the issue at stake when the victims of the Occupy UC Davis pepper spray attack file suit in the coming days. The victims have not been identified, all of the possible defendants have not been detailed. But the news comes as widespread critics claim that Linda P.B. Katehi, UC Davis’s Chancellor, allegedly has condoned police violence against her students. The allegations, moreover, assert that Katehi is not the only UC Chancellor to allegedly use violence against their own students.

For months, Occupy protesters worldwide have been depicted as being dragged, shoved, carried, and pushed by responding officers. But on Friday, a handful of peaceful, non moving, protesters, sat in quiet civil demonstrations. Lt John Pike, a UC Davis officer, was in position during the dispute. Pike was not the only officer surrounding the students.

In what appeared to be a slow, gradual buildup, Pike had created no urgency between him and the protesters. Dozens of amateur spectators and news reporters stood in position inches from Pike, recording video and photographs.

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Pike walked behind the protesters. All of them were seated, clustered together, not speaking mostly with their faces down and their hats or hoods over the head. Pike then in grandstanding motion pulled out a pepper spray can. He waved it at the crowd in a threatening gesture. The motioning was slow. There was no urgency.

And then, he positioned himself close to the first protester and began to spray into their eyes. He moved to the next, and then the next. He deliberately insured that pepper spray hit each and every protester, the YouTube video depicts.

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Nathan Brown, an Assistant Professor in the UC Davis English department, claims that the conduct didn’t end there. He claims that protesters saw the motioning of the pepper spray can coming, and covered their eyes, but that Pike allegedly grabbed the protesters’ mouths, “forced open their mouths”, and insured that he was able to “spray[] down their throats”.

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Brown says that UC Davis officials have no tolerance for student dissent. He claims a UC Davis November 13 email stated “it is particularly disturbing that such an act of intolerance should occur at a time when the campus community is working to create a safe and inviting space for all our students.”

Brown says that students have a right to “political dissent on our campus”. Brown claims that Pike was ordered by UC Davis officials to prevent expression of speech by students. “You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.”

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Pike has yet to comment about the matter. His email, address, Skype, and even annual salary (paid by students) have been posted online. Pike reportedly is paid more than $100,000 from State of California annually with more than 40% of his salary from student fees, claims Occupy UC Davis. Katehi has yet to agree to resign. Occupy UC Davis confirms “Protesters will be engaging civil rights attorneys to pursue legal action against the University and City of Davis for excessive force and for violating their civil and constitutional rights.”

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Latest Comments:

9 Responses to 'Lt John Pike UC Davis Pepper Spray Prompts Historic Occupy Lawsuit'

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  1. on November 21st, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Are we FINALLY going to see some semblance of accountability from the Police Brutality which as plagued our streets these past few weeks? I don’t think a paid leave will cut it- where are the formal charges? Evicting protesters is Unconstitutional and endangers the basic rights of EVERY last American. Is this the country we were raised in, were men and women are beaten, gassed, pepper-sprayed and arrested for their disapproval of the government? We have to be careful to protect our Constitutional Rights! Incidents like these compelled me to design some posters for the movement on

  2. Debra said,

    on November 21st, 2011 at 11:06 am

    “paid leave” is code for preparing to be fired. Unpaid leaves are usually disciplinary in nature.

  3. Protest said,

    on November 21st, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Paid by students and then this??? I can’t even begin to wonder what got into the heads of those people who thought pepper spraying students would be OK.

  4. Neal Deesit said,

    on November 21st, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Just in case you’d like to communicate your opinion of his work to Lt. John “Pepper spray” Pike of the UC Davis Police Dept.:


  5. Martin said,

    on November 21st, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Honestly, all the protesters so far should be proud of themselves, and I’m not being sarcastic. To still be maintaining a vigil of peace in this movement in the face of barbarity, as opposed to violent opposition, is to show a level of integrity that the governmental minions of both the US and Australia have failed to show in responding to these protests.

    It’s simply further evidence of why we can no longer have faith in the governments that claim to represent a majority of the population. Democracy has failed us today.

  6. Dion said,

    on November 21st, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I’m getting MORE and MORE angry and soon I just wont take it any more sitting DOWN! If it isn’t legal to arrest you, it is legal to arrist arrest. ie those in the crows had every right to spray him back in the face legally if they weren’t breaking laws.

  7. Ralph said,

    on November 21st, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Well Said Martin!
    All ‘democratically elected’ representatives are mere puppets – they no longer represent the majority of voters, they pander to their overlords’ whims.These policemen protect and serve all right – the money men!

  8. mike said,

    on November 22nd, 2011 at 9:13 am

    what pike has coming to him will happen shortly.just sit back and enjoy it.

  9. Joshua said,

    on December 3rd, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    This incident will result in filings of 1983 and state tort claims. As the injuries are minimal, the 1983 cliam will probably not succeed. However, it appears that the officer was acting ‘willfully and maliciously’, so a liberal California federal court may allow the plaintiffs to proceed past summary judgment. As for the state tort claims of assault and battery, whether or not they succeed will depend on if plaitiff’s counsel can find a law or regualtion that the officer broke whilst in the commission of his act.

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