Police Officer Involved in Pepper Spray Incident Leaves UC Davis

Image Credit: Wayne Tilcock for The Davis Enterprise

The UC-Davis officer involved in a controversial pepper spray incident is no longer employed by the school. Lt. John Pike was videotaped pepper-spraying students while they were protesting tuition hikes. Students videotaped the incident. The video fo the event went viral and resulted in public and student outcry over the event.

An investigation into the event by a University of California task force resulted in a 190-page report.

The report also accused Pike of misusing his now-iconic weapon. The bright red pepper-spray canister he brandished to the crowd before discharging was “not an authorized weapon” under campus police guidelines, and “is a higher pressure type of pepper spray than what officers normally carry on their utility belts.”

It was designed to be used at a distance of at least six feet. “And Lt. Pike did not use it correctly,” the report found.

The task force also blamed members of the UC-Davis leadership, citing “systemic and repeated failures” among campus administrators that “put officers in the unfortunate situation in which they found themselves.”

It described the campus police command structure as “very dysfunctional,” with Spicuzza’s lieutenants refusing to follow orders and getting into “heated exchanges” with the chief during the protests.

But Pike was primarily responsible for the “objectively unreasonable decision” to pepper-spray the demonstrators, it concluded. CNN, 1 Aug 2012.

The school spokesman would not say whether Lt. Pike was fired or resigned, stating privacy concerns.