A former US campus policeman who pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters has been awarded $38,000 in compensation for psychiatric damage.
Lieutenant John Pike received threats after footage of the incident went viral on the internet in 2011…It showed him casually spraying protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement as they sat on the ground at the University of California.
His award is not much less than that received by the protesters he harmed.
Mr Pike was suspended from his job at University of California Davis after the incident and left the force in July 2012.
An official investigation found that university officials and UC Davis police used poor judgment and excessive force in the confrontation.
In June, Mr Pike filed a worker’s compensation claim with UC Davis over the incident, claiming he suffered psychiatric and nervous system damage.
Local reports said Mr Pike had received more than 17,000 angry or threatening emails, 10,000 text messages and hundreds of letters after the video of the pepper-spraying was published.
UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell said on Wednesday that the Division of Workers Compensation Appeals Board agreed on 16 October to resolve his claim by paying him a settlement totalling $38,055…
The university paid $1 million to settle a lawsuit by the 21 students who were pepper-sprayed and assaulted while sitting on the ground immobile.
The inability of judicial processes to differentiate between citizens attacked by criminals and the thugs committing the assault is difficult to rationalize away as bureaucratic incompetence. It feels like more of the lawyerly presumption that you have to cover your ass for every eventuality – and justice doesn’t have a damned thing to do with the process.
The existential quotient that must be rebalanced requires society, groups and individuals to take responsibility for the results of their actions.