A police officer who was caught on camera hosing down a group of student protesters with pepper spray for no apparent reason has filed for worker’s compensation, asking taxpayers to pay him for a “psychiatric injury” he claims to have sustained in the incident’s wake.
Officer John Pike was fired about eight months after his antics at the University of California-Davis became the subject of a viral Internet meme that saw thousands of famous photos edited to include him pepper-spraying various people and things.
He’s expected to be appearing at a settlement hearing in August, according to The Associated Press, where Pike hopes to be awarded compensation for a “psychiatric injury.”
Pike claims he received dozens of threatening messages following the pepper-spraying incident, thanks to hackers who dredged up his personal information and shared it widely.
Those threats are why a judge refused last year to release the names of other officers on the scene that day, but on appeal earlier this week a separate court ruled that news media has a right to those officers’ names.
Former U.C. Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza told Fox 40 in Sacramento that she did not make the decision to pepper-spray students on that day, but insisted that the other officers must not be named in public.
“The last thing I want to see is that these unnamed officers have to go through what I went through, as well as the lieutenant,” she said. “We dealt with death threats. I had to leave the state for a month because of the death threats and fear for my safety and my family.”