Where should the majority of new ownership housing be located for new UCD Faculty and Staff? (Select One)

  • Davis (42%, 361 Votes)
  • UC Davis Campus (31%, 270 Votes)
  • Woodland (Spring Lake) (25%, 217 Votes)
  • Elsewhere (2%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 869

Loading ... Loading ...

Pike Filed Worker’s Compensation Claim For Pepper-Spray Incident

Pepper-spray

Former UC Davis Lt. John Pike filed a worker’s compensation claim for injuries suffered on November 18, 2011, during the incident in which he doused protesters with pepper spray on the UC Davis Quad.

While much of the information remains confidential, protected under privacy and other rights, the form indicates that the impact was “psychiatric” and affected the “nervous system.”

The case is scheduled for a hearing on August 13 in Sacramento in front of an administrative law judge, according to the State Department of Industrial Relations website.  It is scheduled as a settlement conference and, if no settlement is reached, the case would move forward to trial.

The Vanguard spoke with Andy Fell from the UC Davis News Service who was unsure as to whether the university could comment on the matter or what information was public.  He never called back on Thursday afternoon.

“Apparently, Officer Pike experienced so much emotional trauma when pepper spraying those kids that he’s applying for full disability income, retirement, and benefits,” said Bernie Goldsmith, a long-time Davis resident and attorney. “Why shouldn’t he get a payout of millions in retirement income?”

Pike-WC

On July 31, 2012, the university confirmed that Lt. John Pike was no longer a university employee.  We would learn a week later that the university had in fact fired Lt. Pike.

The Bee would report, “Pike was fired Tuesday after UC Davis Police Chief Matthew Carmichael rejected the findings and wrote in a letter to Pike that ‘the needs of the department do not justify your continued employment,’ according to the documents.”

“For reasons detailed in this report, we conclude that Lieutenant Pike’s use of pepper spray was reasonable under the circumstances,” the report states. “The visual of Lieutenant Pike spraying the seated protesters is indeed disturbing.

“However, it also fails to tell other important parts of the story.”

Cruz Reynoso, whose task force reviewed the report written by former LA Police Chief William Bratton and his firm, Kroll, strongly disputed the validity of the findings.

“Based on the newspaper accounts… it appears that the review was superficial and reached an incorrect conclusion that Lt. Pike had acted correctly under the circumstances,” Cruz Reynoso said.

He added, “As the Task Force concluded, the Pepper Spray never should have been utilized under those circumstances.  There was absolutely no danger to the officers and they could have executed their duties in a completely legal proper way without using pepper spray.”

The Executive Board of the University of California Davis Police Officers Association later in August 2012 released an open letter to the UC Board of Regents protesting the decision to fire Lt. Pike for his actions on November 18, 2011.

They wrote, “While the Board fully supports the appointment of Police Chief Carmichael and the positive changes he is implementing, we do not approve of the decision to disregard the findings of the internal affairs investigation and the sufficiency review board as it relates to Lieutenant Pike’s termination.”

The open letter from the police officer’s union notes that the Sacramento Bee‘s reporting of the IA revealed that “the investigation found that Lieutenant Pike was justified with his use of pepper spray under the circumstances.  The internal affairs investigation did not recommend discipline for Lieutenant Pike due to the use of force issue, rather other aspects of the events that day.”

They add, “Additionally, the discipline recommendations did not include termination, but rather demotion or suspension.  He should not have been terminated from The UC Davis Police Department.”

In May of 2012, following the release of the Kroll Report and the Cruz Reynoso Task Force report with the names of police officers redacted, the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee argued that the public and press interests were not represented in the agreement to suppress the names of officers who were involved.

In a case that is likely destined for the state’s Supreme Court, the First Appellate District, Division Four, ruled in favor of the newspapers and ordered the release of the names of 12 officers named in the two reports commissioned by the University of California Regents.

“The reports reviewed the facts leading up to the pepper spray incident, made conclusions regarding responsibility for the incident, and concluded with policy recommendations to ensure that such a polarizing incident did not reoccur,” the court notes.  “However, the names of more than a dozen UC police officers who planned, participated in, and/or witnessed the pepper spray incident were redacted from the reports.”

The court writes, “We agree with the trial court that the identities of the officers named in the reports must be disclosed because this information does not fall within any category of exempted information under section 832.7, subdivision (a). “

On November 18, 2011, UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike was videotaped dousing pepper spray in a methodical fashion, on what appeared to be a row of nonviolent and seated protestors at close range after their failure to follow orders to disburse.

The incident led to national and worldwide news coverage and two publicly released reports commissioned by UC President Mark Yudof, one produced by Kroll – which is run by former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton.  He also appointed former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso to chair a task force (the Reynoso Task Force) to examine the pepper-spray incident.

The result of these investigations led to the retirement of Police Chief Annette Spicuzza, the firing of Lt. Pike and the firing of a second officer whom the Vanguard identified as Officer Alexander Lee.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

112 thoughts on “Pike Filed Worker’s Compensation Claim For Pepper-Spray Incident”

  1. Brian Riley

    I don’t believe the claim, and I don’t have much sympathy for him. If he really objected to the idea of the action during the meeting in police headquarters as the Reynoso Report indicates, then he should have just not gone out there and done it. He could have suddenly taken ill or found a way to get out of it.

    That conclusion (that he objected to the overall action in the first place) seems to be contradicted by the fact that he used military grade pepper spray. If we’re to believe the idea that he objected to the action in the first place, but then at the same time also chose to use an unauthorized type of pepper spray, then the only conclusion that could follow from that is that he is just plain stupid. But that can’t be true, therefore, I’m led to reject the claim that he objected to the action in the first place.

  2. Brian Riley

    Right, I was trying to add supporting evidence as to why I don’t believe his worker’s comp claim. I think he’s lying and just going for the money. His prior actions didn’t match his purported words (regarding whether he objected to the idea of the action in the first place), so I don’t see any reason to believe him on this.

    Has anyone come up with a reason why we should believe him on anything? Where has he ever established any amount of credibility?

  3. ebowler

    Worker’s Compensation is a no fault system, so it is irrelevant whether or not the use of pepper spray was justified or even if the claimant objected to it. If the claimant suffered injury as a result, then it is a legitimate claim and is likely to be successful.

  4. Brian Riley

    @ebowler, it might be no fault, but there’s still the issue of his credibility. That’s why the do depositions of some people who claim worker’s comp injuries, to see if their claim is credible, and sometimes even to sub-rosa photography and videos, to see if they are engaging in behavior that contradicts what they are claiming.

  5. Robb Davis

    Is it possible to be the perpetrator of a violent act and be traumatized by it? Absolutely. Since I am not a psychiatrist and do not know Mr Pike I cannot in any way determine whether in fact he is disabled. But his act of dehumanization dehumanized him as well. The condemnation he received–some of it scurrilous and vicious–would be hard for anyone to take. The fact that he committed violence does not mean he is not a human being. I would urge us as a community to not judge Mr Pike on these issues. We do not know if he lives with regret. We do not know how he feels about what he did. We only know he is an international pariah and someone who can never live openly in this community again.

    Several of us called for a restorative process in the aftermath of this incident. Such a process could have held both the University leadership and the police (including Mr Pike) accountable for their actions, given the students a chance to describe the harms and give the police and leadership a way to make them right. The Reynoso report called for such a process. The University rejected it (de facto). The failure to move forward with RJ means many lives remain broken and damaged.

    Why are we surprised by where Mr Pike has gone?

  6. Growth Izzue

    This case brought back memories to me. My daughter was involved in a car crash when she was 16. Almost a year later she and I got served, we knew the other driver wasn’t injured but he said that he had nervous system problems and a loss of strength. How do you disprove possible injuries like that? My insurance company settled with him over my objections for what they said was a small amount. They said it was cheaper to settle than to fight it.

  7. PatLenzi

    I agree with Robb Davis. Restorative Justice would have been something to consider in the aftermath of the original incident and could have lessened the level of the emotional aftermath suffered by the students and others. The fact that Pike has now become an internet meme showing a callous disregard for others? Well that could be emotionally harmful to most people. I can see how he could be emotionally harmed by all the attention he personally received, deservedly or not. One can cause one’s own PTSD- right, Mr. Obvious?

  8. Ryan Kelly

    I’ve heard that there is a financial benefit to being considered disabled upon retirement – something about substantial tax free income. I seem to remember CHP officers doing this to boost their retirement income and there was a whole investigation regarding fraud. (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1212225/posts )

    There may be more to this. He may indeed be suffering and has exhausted the medical resources provided through UC medical insurance. But to provide him with extra income above and beyond his UC retirement is something I’m not so interested in him being awarded.

    Remember, the victims of his actions were given $30,000 each for their trauma (roughly one year of tuition/cost of living for the interrupted year of study) and basically told to get on with their lives. Compared to this, it wouldn’t be right for Pike to receive a substantial financial award.

  9. medwoman

    Rob

    [quote]Several of us called for a restorative process in the aftermath of this incident. Such a process could have held both the University leadership and the police (including Mr Pike) accountable for their actions, given the students a chance to describe the harms and give the police and leadership a way to make them right. The Reynoso report called for such a process. The University rejected it (de facto). The failure to move forward with RJ means many lives remain broken and damaged.
    [/quote]

    I am in complete agreement with you on the applicability of restorative justice in this situation and am wondering if it is too late for the University to still consider such an action. Given the ambiguities of this situation, it would seem appropriate in response to Ryan Kelley’s question for Mr. Pike to receive essentially the same compensation received by each of the students that was traumatized by his actions in addition to what other recommendations resulted from the restorative justice process.

  10. Robb Davis

    I agree with Ryan Kelly that there is something unfair about how this all plays out (I realize he did not say that but really that is what the outcome feels like: unfair). If we step back and look at how the parties responded to this brutal act–from the way the University handled it, to the police attempt to shield members from responsibility, to the role of the DA, to the lawsuit filed by students, we have a textbook case of how our “legal system” failed to deliver justice. Despite that it seems no one is willing to step forward and take a risk to see justice done. No one will take a risk to seek a restorative path. To date, the only people I am aware of who were willing to go down that path were some of the students involved.

    Medwoman–it is not too late to engage in a restorative process. Despite everything that has happened, students who so desire could meet in a carefully prepared and facilitated meeting with key UC Davis leaders and the police. Who knows, perhaps even Mr Pike could be convinced to come. There are many factors that work together to keep this from happening but the main one is that we have a retributive system that serves our (collective) need for assigning blame rather than healing broken relationships. The voices of many in the last 24 hours since the story of Pike broke demonstrate that even self-styled progressives want blood, want retribution and have no interest in restoring Mr Pike to our community. Why is that I wonder?

  11. Davis Progressive

    “The voices of many in the last 24 hours since the story of Pike broke demonstrate that even self-styled progressives want blood, want retribution and have no interest in restoring Mr Pike to our community. Why is that I wonder?”

    because they don’t feel like the wrongdoers were properly held accountable in this process?

  12. ebowler

    [quote]because they don’t feel like the wrongdoers were properly held accountable in this process? [/quote]

    That may or may not be true, but the Workers’ Compensation system is not the place to hold someone accountable. Its purpose is to treat, rehabilitate and compensate a worker for a workplace injury. If he has suffered an workplace injury, he has every right, as does any other worker, to seek remedy from the WC system.

  13. Growth Izzue

    [quote]“The voices of many in the last 24 hours since the story of Pike broke demonstrate that even self-styled progressives want blood, want retribution and have no interest in restoring Mr Pike to our community. Why is that I wonder?”

    [/quote]

    LOL, good point Rob. You just showed the liberal hypocrisy of many these people. Rob, you say you wonder why, but I think you know why.

  14. Brian Riley

    We tried to communicate/negotiate with Pike before the police action took place. He simply refused to communicate with us. Until he comes clean, acknowledges his wrongdoing, and tries to make amends in some way, then I don’t see why anyone should sympathize with his situation. Simply put, he got what asked for and what he deserves.

  15. Robb Davis

    Davis Progressive you wrote: [quote]because they don’t feel like the wrongdoers were properly held accountable in this process?[/quote] in response to my question and I quite agree. Few if any of us feel that there was any accountability in this case. And we are angry/hurt/frustrated by that. My point is that we rely on a legal system to bring accountability though it shows itself incapable of doing that time and time again. Why, then, will we not seek a new way to deal with such situations so we experience accountability and healing?

    GI: There is plenty of hypocrisy to go around on this. We ALL drink from the same “retributive” well which promises to quench our thirst for justice but leaves us still thirsty and wondering why we never get what we need even as the “legal process” comes to a close.

    Brian Riley: I lack the omniscience to know what Pike “deserves”, but your comment shows a full commitment to a punitive, retributive system that is more concerned with meting out punishment to those who “have it coming to them” than seeking a way that meets the NEEDS of all those involved.

    Restorative processes start by acknowledging that victims have needs and that those needs include the opportunity to face their offenders and ask why, tell their stories about the effects of the acts on them and then to ask for the harms to be made right. Offenders need accountability, an opportunity to understand the effect of their actions on the victims and the opportunity to make things right. I am arguing that it is past time to stand back and ask what we NEED in the face of offenses. Our punitive system has nothing to offer in cases like this one. And so, I will say it again, nearly two years on we have a landscape littered with lack of accountability, deeply traumatized people and no sign of the “healing” that this University says it so desperately wants. This is tragic because there are alternatives.

  16. Brian Riley

    @Robb: This is bigger than any issue of just one cop and restorative justice. We’re talking about a major issue in the trend toward the militarization of police forces throughout the world. It needs to be seen in that context.

    Sure, I understand he’s a human being, but he didn’t act like one on Nov. 18, 2011. Until he acknowledges his wrongdoing, then there’s nothing to be done, in my opinion, on the issue of restorative justice.

  17. Robb Davis

    Brian – I am cognizant of the militarization of police forces and decry it as you do. In that sense, you would agree that Pike is more a product of a broken system (that must be challenged) than a lone rogue bad guy. I am not suggesting that RJ will solve that larger issue though it is linked to our understanding of the legitimacy of using violence to achieve certain ends. A retributive justice system is part of that violence in many cases. And if you don’t believe me let me introduce you to some people I interact with who committed crimes, did their time and are still treated as pariah by our society which will NEVER let them have a life that does not include the “scarlet F” for felon. Our system does violence to offenders long after they have paid their “dues to society.” That is the system I am suggesting you are interested in applying in Pike’s case. I could wish you were as concerned by that violence as you are by a militarized police force.

    On your second point… If we could somehow convince Pike to sit down with you (and some other students) in a safe environment in which you could express what happened to you on that day and offer him the chance to take responsibility and make things right, would you be willing to participate? This may seem like a rhetorical question but I still hold out hope that it will happen. I continue to try to work towards that end.

    Pike has not acknowledged wrongdoing because from the moment he committed this act the legal system within the university told him NOT to. His union certainly told him the same. Any private lawyer he retained to defend him against civil suits would have told him the same. Had he been charged by the DA his counsel would have told him the same. My point is there is no time during this entire process when Pike was even in the slightest encouraged to take responsibility. It has never happened. Indeed, every part of our legal system told him just the opposite: “never admit any wrongdoing.” Doesn’t that make Pike a victim of a broken system? Am I giving him too much slack? I don’t think so.

  18. Brian Riley

    @Robb, I didn’t say anything about retribution. I just said: “He got what he deserved.” It was his choice what he did on Nov. 18, 2011, and he has suffered the consequences of his choice, regardless of what anyone else’s opinion on the subject is.

  19. Brian Riley

    PS If I was convinced that he was sincere, then I would sit down and talk with him. But first he has to apologize for brushing us off before the action took place. I approached him beforehand and he was extremely impolite.

  20. medwoman

    [quote]Several of us called for a restorative process in the aftermath of this incident. Such a process could have held both the University leadership and the police (including Mr Pike) accountable for their actions, given the students a chance to describe the harms and give the police and leadership a way to make them right. [/quote]

    I would like to expand on this thought. Many posters shortly after the pepper spray incident indicated their feelings that the students were largely to blame and “got what they deserved”. While I did not share this view, I do believe that there were multiple points at which any of the participants ( students, administrators, police) could have chosen a different course of action bringing about de escalation rather than escalation of events.
    I realize that I am somewhat “one note” on this point but feel that not only the entirety of our legal/ justice system but the entirety of our society would be much improved by decreasing our adversarial/ confrontational
    approach to conflicts and working within a more collaborative framework. Perhaps a useful format would be one in which all participants in this event could share their own viewpoint, and attempt to understand ( if not agree
    with the points of view of others). I don’t know if their is a place for such a process within the framework of
    “restorative justice” but would like to hear Robb’s ( and all other’s ) thoughts on this.

  21. B. Nice

    I’m still unclear on how everything went down that day. What exactly were the protesters doing that led the police to feel they needed to use pepper spray?

  22. B. Nice

    “I do believe that there were multiple points at which any of the participants ( students, administrators, police) could have chosen a different course of action bringing about de escalation rather than escalation of events.”

    I absolutely agree. While I in know way condone the use of pepper spray, I always wondered if the protesters could have acted in someway to help deescalate the situation. Anytime time I tried to be bring this issue up with people defending the protesters things got ugly fast. I’m still not clear on the objectives of the protesters.

  23. Ginger

    So awesome to talk to someone who was there.

    Here’s a question I’ve long had…from watching videos, it seems like the protestors were well aware of the threat of pepper spray. If I’d have been there, I’d have been one of the ones who said, “Oh, Okay then. I’m outta here.” From the video I saw, lots did that.

    Why did so many decide to stay despite knowing pepper spray was going to be used? Why was anyone surprised that they followed through on the threat?

    This isn’t to say I support the use of the pepper spray, it just seems like it was obviously going to happen. Was Pike acting against orders? I’m unclear on so much.

    [quote]What exactly were the protesters doing that led the police to feel they needed to use pepper spray?[/quote] If I recall correctly, the protestors had been permitted to “camp” there despite it being against university policy. However, the Thanksgiving break was coming up and there were concerns about the protestors’ safety. The campus security detail (or whatever it’s called) is lighter over the holidays, and in the wake of the rapes at other OWS protests and the murder that had happened just a week or so before in Oakland, I guess the university just wanted to get the protestors out. I’m guessing for their safety as well as the university’s own liability.

  24. Brian Riley

    @B. Nice: Here’s the Reynoso/Kroll report, if you want to read up on it:

    [url]http://reynosoreport.ucdavis.edu/reynoso-report.pdf[/url]

  25. B. Nice

    “I guess the university just wanted to get the protestors out. I’m guessing for their safety as well as the university’s own liability.”

    My question is why did they spray that specific group of protestors when they did? What were they doing (or not doing) at that moment that led to the decision to,use the pepper spray?

  26. Brian Riley

    @Ginger: Simply put, there was no valid reason to leave. The police simply had no legal justification for evicting us. Vice Chancellor John Meyer was the administrator had the oversight role over UCDPD (during that time) and he was operating under the mistaken premise that since we had camped overnight the night before, then that meant that the tents that were there during the afternoon were there against university policy.

    That premise doesn’t hold up, however. It was a thin pretext, really. Meyer perceived himself as being “in a chess match” with us, supposedly trying to think several moves ahead, and was trying basically to kick us off the Quad so that there would be no Occupy UC Davis. In other words, it was a violation of our free speech rights. Those are rights worth standing up for.

  27. Brian Riley

    @B. Nice,

    According to the Kroll report, it was Pike’s own decision to use the pepper spray. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. My guess would be no, but that’s just a guess. Supposedly, Pike thought this was his best option, because it was “non-lethal” and he thought he need to remove the protesters who were seated in a circle. Actually, though, the tents had already been taken down and removed by that point, so there really was no reason at all to remove those protesters (who were seated).

  28. B. Nice

    “Those are rights worth standing up for. “

    They made a choice to stay where they were and get pepper sprayed in order to stand up for those rights. (Should they have had to make that choice, absoulty not, but they did).

  29. Brian Riley

    @B. Nice,

    They were all incredibly brave to sit there and allow themselves to get pepper sprayed. I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to do the same had I been sitting there in that circle.

    It demonstrated to the world the seriousness of the issue. The UC system is the world’s premier public university system. We’re not going to give it up without a fight.

    Looks to me like we’re going to win the war, so to speak, on that one, but it’s not over yet by any means, not with Napolitano coming in.

  30. Ginger

    [b]Brian Riley [/b]

    [quote]Vice Chancellor John Meyer was the administrator had the oversight role over UCDPD (during that time) and he was operating under the mistaken premise that since we had camped overnight the night before, then that meant that the tents that were there during the afternoon were there against university policy. [/quote]

    So tents were being switched out purposefully so that protestors couldn’t be accused of “camping?”

  31. medwoman

    BR

    [quote]The UC system is the world’s premier public university system. We’re not going to give it up without a fight.

    Looks to me like we’re going to win the war, so to speak, on that one, but it’s not over yet by any means, not with Napolitano coming in. [/quote]

    So this is kind of what I was getting at in my post. The words you use illustrate the point. “Without a fight”.
    “We’re going to win the war”. You will probably not find a stronger advocate in maintaining the “public” in
    public university system as I largely credit the availability of this system for my success in my career. However,
    I also believe that until we, as a society, are willing to attempt to collaborate instead of framing all differences in points of view in terms of “struggles”, “battles”, “fights” and “wars” we are unlikely to move away from these kinds of conflicts.

  32. B. Nice

    “They were all incredibly brave to sit there and allow themselves to get pepper sprayed.”

    I don’t know a good way of asking this question without sounding callous, but they made a choice in that moment that their cause was important enough to them to get sprayed with pepper spray, so how can they turn around and act like victims, instead of what they were trying to be, which were martyrs for a cause?

  33. Brian Riley

    @medwoman, I didn’t frame it that way, UC Regent Ricard C. Blum is the one who started it when he hand-picked Yudof to be UC President in 2008. I’d gladly to it that way, too, if it were feasible, but it’s not.

    If you want to try that, then you should convince Gov. Brown to refrain from nominating Blum for reappointment in a few months. Blum’s 12-year term is expiring on March 1, 2014.

  34. Brian Riley

    @B. Nice, so if a robber comes into your house in the middle of the night and says: “I’m going to kill your children,” and say: “You’re going to have to kill me first,” does that mean that you’re not entitled later to say that you’re a victim (assuming you survived) because you “willingly” got shot? I’m not sure I follow your logic.

  35. Ginger

    @BR

    Can you help me understand the events? You said that :

    [quote]Vice Chancellor John Meyer was the administrator had the oversight role over UCDPD (during that time) and he was operating under the mistaken premise that since we had camped overnight the night before, then that meant that the tents that were there during the afternoon were there against university policy.[/quote] So the tents that were removed that afternoon were different tents than those that had been there the night before?

  36. Growth Izzue

    I like how Brian Riley portrays the students that day:
    [quote]he thought he need to remove the protesters who were seated in a circle. Actually, though, the tents had already been taken down and removed by that point, so there really was no reason at all to remove those protesters (who were seated). [/quote]

    We’ve been through this a thousand times. The students weren’t sitting in a circle, they were sitting in a line blocking the police who were trying to remove arrestees from the area. The crowd had been chanting “set them free then you can leave” and “F the police from Davis to Greece” and as the situation escalated Pike decided to use the pepper spray after he had continually warned the students that he would. Was it the wisest choice, probably not, but the students weren’t all innocent acting as it is being portrayed.

  37. Brian Riley

    @Growth Izzue, no you’re wrong. There was definitely a big circle going around the central piece of concrete there. The concrete itself formed a large disk. Students were seated all around except there were a couple of openings where cops could walk through. As for your comment about Pike, all I can say is: IT WAS NOT HIS PREROGATIVE to do what he did. He was violating the law, and the protesters had a right to keep sitting there. He had no legal right, as the Reynoso Report confirms.

  38. B. Nice

    My point is that they made a choice, between moving and getting pepper sprayed. Just like the mother in your analogy martyred herself for her children, they did so for their cause.

    That being said, the police never should have put them in that position to begin with. As medwoman mentioned our police should be trained to de-escalate these types of situations, a lot of times their adversarial stance and attitudes end up creating more problems.

  39. Brian Riley

    @Ginger: Sorry, I misread your question. The answer is that yes, as far as I know, the tents that had been there overnight were some of the ones they ordered taken down that were still there in the afternoon. They were all taken down *before* the pepper spraying occurred — all the tents were taken down and removed — so even if we buy into Meyer’s premise, then Pike *still* didn’t have a reason for doing what he did.

  40. B. Nice

    I also think the adversarial stance of the protestors created problems too, I just think the police should be trained to “take the higher road” so to speak, in order to avoid outcomes like this one.

  41. Brian Riley

    @B. Nice: I don’t really understand your point. Martyr’s choose to be martyr’s precisely because they are being oppressed. In that larger sense, they are victims. Seems like you’re trying to split hairs here on some philosophical point.

  42. jimt

    Looks like Pike is setting himself up as the biggest martyr of all; with a multi-million dollar payoff for his actions (well over $100k in salary and benefits until retirement in ~20 years; then a similiarly plush retirement package likely for another 20 years or so, or whatever his life expectancy).
    Who says martyrdom doesn’t pay?

  43. Brian Riley

    Jim, he actually broke the law, in the opinion of many, but the D.A. decided not to prosecute. Shame on the D.A. He’s no martyr. He’s a *perpetrator* — at least in the moral sense, if not the legal sense.

  44. B. Nice

    [quote]@B. Nice: I don’t really understand your point. Martyr’s choose to be martyr’s precisely because they are being oppressed. In that larger sense, they are victims. Seems like you’re trying to split hairs here on some philosophical point.[/quote]

    My point is that they were not helpless victims in this situation, they made choices, and those choices contributed to the outcome.

  45. brianriley429

    Either way, whether they chose to sit there and be pepper sprayed, or chose to leave, they were victims for having their rights taken away. You’re getting tripped up there on come concrete, out-of-context thinking.

  46. B. Nice

    [quote]Either way, whether they chose to sit there and be pepper sprayed, or chose to leave, they were victims for having their rights taken away[/quote]

    I guess I am still unclear of what rights were being taken away from the individuals who were sprayed (before they were sprayed). It is my understanding that police were asking them to clear a path? So basically to move over a few feet? Do I have this wrong?

  47. brianriley429

    That’s another big misunderstanding. They weren’t really blocking anything. It was in the middle of a huge grassy area, and everyone was free to go wherever they wanted to go.

  48. B. Nice

    [quote]They weren’t really blocking anything. It was in the middle of a huge grassy area, and everyone was free to go wherever they wanted to go.[/quote]

    So why did the police want this particular group of people to move?

  49. brianriley429

    Because the circle of people functioned as a symbol that said: “You can order us to remove the tents, but Occupy UC Davis is still here!” That, evidently, is what Pike (and Meyer, by implication) did not want.

  50. medwoman

    B.Nice

    [quote]So why did the police want this particular group of people to move?[/quote]

    I want to preface my comments by saying that my only qualification for being able to address this question is having watched literally hours worth of footage of this event from multiple sources from when the police started moving across the quad until well after the spraying occurred and my knowledge of the campus having been a student here from 1979 to 1983. My interpretation of the event is that Mr. Pike,
    having decided that this was the most direct route to move those arrested off the quad, became frustrated and angry when the students blocking this single direct route refused his order to move. Since there are obviously multiple other paths off the quad, as any one who has ever been on campus knows, this was not the only route to remove those arrested safely. My feeling is that either his, or someone at a higher pay grade’s ego was overly engaged and threatened and this was the response.

    The fact that a policeman was clearly seen escorting a protestor past a line of students unmolested clearly indicated that no one was being “held captive” or “blocked” even though there were briefly verbal threats that this would be the case. Also plainly visible were Davis city police chatting with and moving through the protestors with no difficulty. All of which suggests that this level of force was not needed to handle the protestors.

  51. brianriley429

    Right. Remember, Pike’s primary motivation would be to hang onto his very high-paying job, and that means courting the favor of John Meyer and Katehi and trying to second-guess what they might want him to do.

  52. medwoman

    GI

    My conclusion about motive is speculation as stated. The videos of the various policemen and the fact that there are multiple routes of egress from the quad are fact.

  53. B. Nice

    [quote]My interpretation of the event is that Mr. Pike, having decided that this was the most direct route to move those arrested off the quad, became frustrated and angry when the students blocking this single direct route refused his order to move.[/quote]

    For the sake of my argument, lets go with this scenario. The students were asked by a police officer to clear a particular path (I’m not justifying Pike’s need to have this path cleared). My next question would be, why did the students blocking the path refuse to move, what were they trying to accomplish?

  54. Growth Izzue

    Medwoman
    [quote]My conclusion about motive is speculation as stated. The videos of the various policemen and the fact that there are multiple routes of egress from the quad are fact. [/quote]

    Great for you, but I wasn’t replying to your post, I was responding to Brian Riley.

  55. Growth Izzue

    B. Nice
    [quote]My next question would be, why did the students blocking the path refuse to move, what were they trying to accomplish? [/quote]

    That’s not hard to figure out. The students wanted a confrontation.

  56. B. Nice

    [quote]Because the circle of people functioned as a symbol that said: “You can order us to remove the tents, but Occupy UC Davis is still here!” That, evidently, is what Pike (and Meyer, by implication) did not want.[/quote]

    So the protestors were purposely escalating the level tension by attempting to obstruct the police.

  57. Ginger

    [quote]So why did the police want this particular group of people to move?[/quote]

    From the oodles of videos I’ve watched, it looks like those were directly in between the police and their vehicles. I could be wrong, but that’s how it looks to me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjXcaoEAkq4&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

    If you watch this video (or the few snippets I mention below), you can see at the beginning the police seem to be leaving, but they are followed by the protestors. Is that correct, BR? Were the protestors following the police?

    As you watch you can see that the protestors encircle the police. Then if you advance to 6:45 you can hear “If you let them go, we will let you leave.” You can also see that each person individually acknowledges they understand they will be subject to force.

    Then if you go to 14:00, it’s after the pepper spraying and you can hear human mic saying that they will not follow the police and, “You can go.”

    Democracy Now interviewed one of the women pepper sprayed, and she states, “We encircled them. They were trying to leave, and they were trying to clear a path and so we sat down and linked arms and said that if they wanted to clear a path they’d have to go through us. LINK: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/21/uc_davis_student_describes_pepper_spray

    I don’t pretend to know what right the students had to camp overnight in tents is, the legality of them being ordered to leave. I don’t know what the motivation of Pike or any of the police there (I saw at least one other had a can of pepper spray out and had shaken the contents as if in preparation for use). From all of the videos that I’ve seen, it looks like the circle was pretty “complete” with linked arms. Yes, Pike had to step over the “blockade” to position himself to spray the protestors, so all of the police could have similarly tip-toed out if they had chosen to do so.

    All of that being said, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for them to move over a couple of feet so that the police can complete their business of leaving.

    Some more context…just a week or so before the pepper spraying, OWS protestors at Berkeley were beaten with clubs by police attempting to clear the protest. The woman in the above interview states that she was there in part to stand in solidarity with those Berkeley students.

  58. Brian Riley

    @B. Nice,

    No! The level of tension would have been much worse, in the long term, had they packed up and called it a day. Then we would have had a tin-pot dictatorship at the UC for sure, and after that any time any cop showed up with a red can of pepper spray and waved it around in the air would be the equivalent of him saying: You people are of no consequence and this university doesn’t belong to you or the People.

  59. B. Nice

    This brings me back to the point medwomen made and which I agree with:

    [quote]I do believe that there were multiple points at which any of the participants ( students, administrators, police) could have chosen a different course of action bringing about de escalation rather than escalation of events. [/quote]

    It’s my opinion, Pike was on some weird power trip (unfortunately this seems to be a side effect for some who carry firearms), and I place most of the blame for what happened on him. He should have ignored the students and found an alternate way around them.

    But I do think the protestors could have behaved in a way that deescalated the situation, but still made the point they were trying to make.

  60. B. Nice

    [quote]No! The level of tension would have been much worse, in the long term, had they packed up and called it a day. [/quote]

    i’m not saying they should have packed up and called it a day, I’m saying they could have deescalated the situation by clearing the path the that the crazy cop wanted them to clear, thats all.

  61. B. Nice

    Of coarse if their intention was to escalate the situation and bring lots of media attention to their cause they made the right choice by not moving. (I’m in no way judging them if this was their intention, but I’d have more respect for them if the would admit to it).

  62. Ginger

    [quote]Of coarse if their intention was to escalate the situation and bring lots of media attention to their cause they made the right choice by not moving. (I’m in no way judging them if this was their intention, but I’d have more respect for them if the would admit to it).[/quote] I totally agree.

  63. Brian Riley

    @B. Nice, as I said, he didn’t just want a clear path. He wanted to “break up the circle.” The circle was a symbol of defiance against his arbitrary (and illegal) authority. He was on a power trip, essentially.

    As I said. This man deserves no sympathy. If he somehow goes through a dramatic transformation in his character and is contrite about what happened and acknowledges what he did (that is, admits that what he did was illegal and immoral), then and only then will I consider forgiving him.

  64. Brian Riley

    OK, I just scrolled up and saw that you too think he was on a power trip, B. Nice. So we have a “meeting of minds” on that issue, since we both used the same term.

  65. B. Nice

    [quote]@B. Nice, as I said, he didn’t just want a clear path. He wanted to “break up the circle.” The circle was a symbol of defiance against his arbitrary (and illegal) authority. He was on a power trip, essentially.
    [/quote]

    I get that, my point is if you are going to pick a fight with a cop on a power trip you are going to escalate the situation.

  66. B. Nice

    [quote]OK, I just scrolled up and saw that you too think he was on a power trip, B. Nice. So we have a “meeting of minds” on that issue, since we both used the same term.[/quote]

    I’m in 100% agreement with you on this piece of the issue.

  67. Ginger

    [quote] He wanted to “break up the circle.” The circle was a symbol of defiance against his arbitrary (and illegal) authority. He was on a power trip, essentially. [/quote]

    So the students were just in a circle as a symbol of defiance against Pike’s power trip?

    So the students chanting that they wanted those arrested to be released as a condition of moving aside, ” “If you let them go, we will let you leave,” were….what? Wrong?

    So the student who was pepper sprayed and later interviewed by Democracy Now was incorrect when she said of the police, “We encircled them. They were trying to leave, and they were trying to clear a path and so we sat down and linked arms and said that if they wanted to clear a path they’d have to go through us.” Was also wrong?

    Maybe to YOU it was just a symbolic circle, but at least to a large group of people, including at least one who was sprayed, it was indeed about making it difficult for the cops to leave.

    I’m not even saying that’s a bad thing. But let’s deal with the facts.

  68. Brian Riley

    @Ginger, even in that quote you’re looking at symbolism, i.e., as part of the “rhetoric” (a technical term). The phrase “go through us” mostly is meant symbolically, not physically.

    In other words, if Pike was going to assert his arbitrary authority, then they were going to make him do it in a super-obvious way that everyone could understand.

    Let’s not fool ourselves. The cops had guns. We didn’t. OK?

    Remember, these are all very sophisticated students acting on a high-level of understanding. These were not a bunch of kids involved in a neighborhood spat.

  69. B. Nice

    [quote]In other words, if Pike was going to assert his arbitrary authority, then they were going to make him do it in a super-obvious way that everyone could understand. [/quote]

    This is the point I’ve been trying to make, they purposely escalated to the situation. Were they attempting to get him to assert his authority? Was that their goal?

  70. Ginger

    [quote]Remember, these are all very sophisticated students acting on a high-level of understanding. [/quote]

    Good to know. That makes the fact that each of them individually acknowledged to the police that they understood that they were going to be met with force all the more powerful.

    Similarly, since they are all so sophisticated, they should have understood that their actions and chantings COULD and most likely [b][i]would[/i][/b] be interpreted literally by the police, who don’t tend to function on a metaphorical level.

    PS- Super sweet of you to explain your use of rhetoric. That’s not condescending or anything at all.

  71. Ginger

    [quote]If the students were purposefully attempting to make Pike use his authority then they need to take some responsibility for the outcome.[/quote] That’s all I’m saying. 🙂

  72. Brian Riley

    No, no. Pike was going to use his authority regardless. He *was* in the process of using it. It was a done deal. Either the students were going to pack up quietly and leave (which would be an example of Pike using his arbitrary authority) or they were going to make him exercise his arbitrary authority in a way that everyone could understand.

  73. jimt

    I’m puzzled how it is that Pike may have earned himself a very cushy income for no work (I don’t begrudge him whatever pension benefits he earned before being fired; but don’t think they should be enhanced).

    A Davis Enterprise article stated that Pike had received hate mail; including threats to pepper spray his family. Does his psychic trauma originate from feeling bad about casually hosing down seated students with military-grade pepper spray from a large canister from a distance of a couple of feet, or from contemplating such treatment for his family?
    To be fair he may have received worse hate-mail, for all I know–I think there are many people who would gladly volunteer to be the recipient of some hate mail in return for millions of dollars in benefits.

    I hope it goes to court; so the claimed causes for the ‘psychic trauma’ that he claims he suffered are made public. As taxpayers, I think we have some right to know why millions will be paid to this guy over the coming years.

  74. B. Nice

    ” Either the students were going to pack up quietly and leave (which would be an example of Pike using his arbitrary authority) or they were going to make him exercise his arbitrary authority in a way that everyone could understand.”

    They CHOSE the former.

  75. Brian Riley

    If you meant they chose to be pepper sprayed, then that’s mostly correct. Yes. They couldn’t be certain that he would go through with it or that it would happen at first, but at some point they knew what was coming, for sure, and decided to stay and take it.

    The other side of it is, they didn’t realize he was using a military grade of pepper spray and that, on top of that, would use it at such close range, in a reckless and dangerous manner.

  76. Brian Riley

    People reading this thread in the future need to know that the thread is being moderated and so some of the comments are showing up in a delayed fashion. For example, your 10:12 PM comment, B. Nice, didn’t show up on my screen until *after* I made my 10:15 comment.

  77. Ginger

    [quote]Either the students were going to pack up quietly and leave (which would be an example of Pike using his arbitrary authority) or they were going to make him exercise his arbitrary authority in a way that everyone could understand.[/quote] That’s a nice turn of phrase, but the police were in the process of leaving when they were followed and encircled by the protestors. This was long before Pike was even a focus…if they had been “allowed” to leave nobody would even know Pike’s name.

    [i]BR said: [quote]Because the circle of people functioned as a symbol that said: “You can order us to remove the tents, but Occupy UC Davis is still here!” That, evidently, is what Pike (and Meyer, by implication) did not want.[/quote]

    B Nice replied: [quote]So the protestors were purposely escalating the level tension by attempting to obstruct the police.
    [/quote]

    BR [quote]No! The level of tension would have been much worse, in the long term, had they packed up and called it a day. Then we would have had a tin-pot dictatorship at the UC for sure, and after that any time any cop showed up with a red can of pepper spray and waved it around in the air would be the equivalent of him saying: You people are of no consequence and this university doesn’t belong to you or the People.[/quote][/i]

    That argument holds no water; the police had planned on packing it up and calling it a day. They were stopped by the protestors. If the police had been allowed to leave without confrontation, the protestors could have chanted, “You police are of no consequence and this University doesn’t belong to you.”

    But then we wouldn’t be talking about the incident two years later. Mission accomplished.

  78. B. Nice

    ” If you meant they chose to be pepper sprayed, then that’s mostly correct”

    Yes. That’s what I’ve been trying to say. (But I don’t think they should have been).

  79. Brian Riley

    [quote]…the police were in the process of leaving when they were followed and encircled by the protestors. [/quote]

    No way! Wrong. Read the report. Pike et al. had no way to transport the arrestees, so they had no place to go. They weren’t leaving.

    Anyway, the report explains that the circle was *not* a closed circle. It had a couple of open spots, and officers were freely moving in and out.

    Pike decided to use that as a pretext to do the pepper spraying. He knew those officers were not really trapped. He wanted to do the spraying as a way of communicating to future protesters that they shouldn’t try to defy the police.

    The only problem with Pike’s logic is that sometimes (like that time) is is quite proper *and* legal (recognized by the courts as being legal) to defy the police and even physically fight back in some instances.

  80. Don Shor

    [quote]need to know that the thread is being moderated[/quote]
    No it isn’t, not in the sense of any comments being held for review. That’s just some kind of server delay.

  81. Ginger

    [quote]” If you meant they chose to be pepper sprayed, then that’s mostly correct”

    Yes. That’s what I’ve been trying to say. (But I don’t think they should have been).[/quote]

    Me too and I totally agree.

    Thanks all for a nice discussion.

  82. Brian Riley

    Just a small correction, the students were seated on the “ring,” not the central disk itself. You can see the ring in this photo that was taken three days later:

    [url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_UC_Davis_from_helium_balloon_2011-11-21.jpg[/url]

  83. eagle eye

    We should remember the military strength pepper spray was not authorized by the department for use by Pike or other officers. Pike made the choice to use it anyway.
    I.e., Pike had the option to decline using it, but made his own choice to use it in violation of department policy.

  84. Jaroslaw1980

    eagle eye wrote: “Pike had the option to decline using it, but made his own choice to use it in violation of department policy.”
    How do you know that Pike had the option . I think that Pike had an option to use lethal weapon beside the pepper spray .

    I commented pepper spraying incident in my letter dated March 14, 2013 which was addressed to UCDMC attorney Danesha Nichols:

    “Not so long ago my employer, Chancellor Katehi of UC Davis, was the subject of breaking news when UC Davis Police Officers sprayed peacefully protesting students on the UC campus lawn with the pepper spray.
    UC Davis President Yudof and UC Davis Chancellor Katehi cried crocodile tears in front of the cameras. But an investigation of the police action by Justice Reynoso did not spare UC Davis from the lawsuit filed by the victims of the police’s actions.

    The UCDMC CEO Executive and the Humanitarian of the Year, Mrs. Claire Pomeroy, wrote an apologetic letter on November 23, 2011. The letter stated:

    Our university community is shaken by the deeply disturbing images we have seen over the past few days. The video of the police action against peaceful students stands in stark contrast to our deeply held commitments to freedom of expression and to our UC Davis principles of community.
    I am heartened to see Chancellor Katehi and President Yudof launch an independent investigation into this event.

    With all the respect I have for Mrs. Pomeroy as person and public servant, and for her noble position in UC system, I will not hesitate to say that while Mrs. Pomeroy can clearly see what is happening on her television screen on the campus, she doesn’t seem to see what is happening right in front of her at the UC Davis Medical Center PO&M and HR Department. For years the employees have been abused by unqualified and arrogant management, and worse, it’s being covered up by HR. This makes me believe that Mrs. Pomeroy’s tearful letter is just part of damage control.

    I was outraged and very disturbed by the UC Davis Police because of my own experience in the past, however, the UC Davis pepper spray incident was a one-time occurrence.
    The abuse, harassment, and mismanagement in UCDMC has been going for years and I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel or any hope that the situation will improve with these phony investigations by the HR Department.
    Humanitarian of the Year, Mrs. Claire Pomeroy, is not shaken, not deeply disturbed, and it is appears that her principles of community only apply to UC Davis Campus.
    The abuse of employees by management in UCDMC is such a normal procedure that it is impossible to feel heartened and hope for an independent investigation.

    The disturbing images of the police action on the UC Davis campus sometimes make me wonder about the reason behind such protests that cause such brutality.
    Why do these kids want to study for four years, spend lots of money for a degree, if they can get a good job without it? In places like the UC Davis Medical Center Plant Operation and Maintenance Department they can get a good job without a degree and the struggle that comes with it—including protests about the costs of tuition.

    Without any degree, they could join the Plant Operation and Maintenance Department Manager with a salary of $150K per year. All of the following positions do not require a degree: Assistant of Department Head, Sr. Development Engineer, Energy Manager, HVAC Plumbing Shop Manager, HVAC and Plumbing Shop supervisors (with G. E. D degree), and more. The salary range for these positions was anywhere from $79, 000.00 to $150,000.00 in the year 2010, according to the UC Salary Data Base.

    The folks who held these positions have all kinds of privileges and bonuses besides their normal duties. With these privileges, the people in charge feel like they are at home.
    For example: If your job became boring and you had nothing to do, then you could go hunting or run your private business. You could go set up traps and catch some pigeons on the roof of campus buildings. If that is not enough excitement or amusement, then you could hunt your subordinate by turning off the lights in your office and playing “the stalking game” until your subordinate freaks out and leaves his job. “

    ucdmclaborchat@comcast.net

  85. Jaroslaw1980

    Following my March 2012 comment and thereafter all events in my August 1, 2013 letter addressed to California legislators (Darrell Steinberg, John Perez, Das Williams and Roger Hernandez) I wrote:

    After the confidential summary report on me was sent to the Chancellor office, I was defrauded of my short term disability benefits for the purpose of making me more vulnerable to forced retirement. The attempt to force me to retire in December 2011 failed. Thereafter in February 2012, I was approached by UC Davis Medical center HR with a proposition to settle the ongoing dispute. At the meeting in February 2012 with UC Davis Medical Center HR Labor Relations Manager Mike Garcia, I made a very reasonable offer to settle the dispute. The University of California counter offer was that HR Labor Relations Manager Mike Garcia and his assistant HR Attorney Jill Vandeviver, who handled the case, were forced to retire, quit, or get fired around May 2012. UC Davis then decided to try to provoke and kill me on May 31, 2012 with a new HR Labor Relations Manager in charge of whole operation and with new UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael and his renegade deputy in the UC Davis Medical Center, Lt. James Barbour.
    Sometimes it makes me wonder what the previous UC Chief of Police, Captain Joyce Souza, and Lt. John Pike knew about UC Davis and the UC Davis Medical Center inner circle that they were replaced with two crooked cops who certainly were dedicated to defending management corruption and wrongdoing to the extreme with plots to provoke and kill employees who are singled out for their activities that are protected by law.

    I have been trying to find out since November 2012—through legitimate means—who in the inner circle of the UC Davis Administration authorized the provocation to try to kill me or harm me on May 31, 2012.
    The involvement of UC Davis Chief of Police Matt Carmichael, UC Davis Health System Legal Consul David Levine, UC Davis Chief Compliance Officer Wendy Delmendo, UC Davis Health System’s two directors, Mike Boyd and Stephen Chilcott and others, quite high-ranking UC Davis Administration officers, documents, facts, and events give me almost undoubted assurance that the May 31, 2012 attempt to provoke me and send me to UC Davis Medical Center Trauma Unit was authorized by UC Davis Health System CEO Ann Madden Rice together with UC Davis Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter or UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.

    ucdmclaborchat@comcast.net

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for