Nine months and $76,000 later, UC Davis's Pepper-Spray Pike is fired

As Rob noted, Lt John Pike, the UC Davis campus cop who attained infamy by casually walking a line of student protesters, pepper-spraying them at point-blank range, has been fired. He has been on administrative leave since the incident since the incident last November, and the university has paid him over $76,000 of his $110,243.12 salary during that period.


  1. Yes, already covered by Rob earlier today. Considering what each campus police officer is payed, it is no wonder tuitions keep doubling every few years.

  2. HOLY SHIT – $110 K for a CAMPUS cop? Are you freaking serious? that is like 3x the starting salary of the local cops here.

    1. Several times the salary of starting profs. You know, the people who do actual work on college campuses.

    2. I’m obviously in the wrong line of work. If I’d known I could pull six digits for macing a bunch of kids I’d’ve been working on my spray technique years ago.


    3. That’s absurd, considering we’re talking about the type of people who couldn’t pass a psych eval for real law enforcement — which is already largely made up of borderline psychopaths. 

      1. He’s a State Police Officer, not a mall cop. They’re supposed to have higher standards.

        1. We are supposed to have free speech, the right to not have the Government snooping on us without cause and warrants, and a fair election system among thousands of other things.
          Seems like they managed to screw this one up from top to bottom.

    1. Also, was he actually fired?  cnn says that he’s “no longer working there” but that UCD was unwilling to confirm if he was fired or if he resigned.  

      1. As the story has been emerging, it seems apparent that there was no leg for UCPD to stand on, so whether they asked for his resignation or he quit at the behest of his union if certain angles don’t play out in his favor, or whether he was fired seems…academic. I’m pretty sure that like political employees, no police officer is ever subject to the social stigma of a firing. That would cast police as having the capacity to be fallible.

  3. I take exception to saying he was fired…while that might be the case, the article does not say that. Rather it simply says he no longer works there. 

    1. Speech writer, are you sure…
      I heard he was hired to hold the gay kids down so Romney could cut their hair.

  4. Silly situation really. I’d like to believe the cop was basically a good guy who did something very foolish on one day, although that’s pure speculation on my part. It being America, did any of the students manage to sue the officer? Does the cop face any criminal or civil action relating to the spraying incident?

    1. Whether he was or was not a good guy is beside the point.  Plenty of good guys do terrible things while following orders.  And that’s the important point: he didn’t do something foolish, he did what he was supposed to do, which is why he’s not being punished.

      The function of the police is to repress civil disturbances and ensure that those in power get to continue calling the shots.  When met with determined and uncooperative resistance, their task is often best accomplished by using pain and fear.  This isn’t some isolated anomaly or freak misjudgement, this is a time-honored strategy for breaking the spirit of a public uprising.  So maybe it’ll create a little fuss and someone has to be fired…at absolute worst some settlements have to be paid.  It’s still worth it.

      Our task, if we actually want to stop this kind of thing, is to make attacks like this cost them so much that it’s not worth it.

      1. Everyone who’s replied below with shock that Tony Bologna received pay while suspended needs to read your comment. that is EXACTLY why cops and military don’t’ get in trouble for this stuff.

  5. [update: I meant “anyone in the working class”, I certainly begrudge Mitt Romney his salary. And his tax rate.]

    I have a problem begrudging anyone their salary.  Every time I hear that whine (“ZOMG a garbage man, who’s obviously stupid and incompetent and worth less than I am because, you know, garbage, makes $80k a year!”) I hear someone who is bitter about making less but too cowardly to demand more and ashamed of being cowed into submission.

    The thing that bothers me about this is that no blame is being assigned.  If he was out of order, violating directives, etc. then that needs to be made clear.  This sounds more like he’s being swept under the rug so that the scandel doesn’t go any higher.

    1. I have a problem with paying people a full salary for a vacation after guaranteed wrongdoing that would have landed anyone else in court. I also have a problem with a university paying this much for an employee who clearly isn’t worth that much in the first place. He’s not stupid and incompetent – he’s malicious and dangerous, and protected by the system, and no – people do not deserve that kind of salary for preying on the people they are supposed to protect. Other cops? Maybe! This guy? No way in hell.

    2. I have a problem begrudging anyone their salary.  Every time I hear that whine (“ZOMG a garbage man, who’s obviously stupid and incompetent and worth less than I am because, you know, garbage, makes $80k a year!”) I hear someone who is bitter about making less but too cowardly to demand more and ashamed of being cowed into submission.

      I asked for more money once.

      The company said no.

      So I put my money where my mouth was and quit.

      And then I was unemployed for the next year and finally got a series of temp jobs I am overqualified for.

      Because I live in the real world and not some stupid-ass Libertarian fantasy where people can just ask for more money and get it.

      Yeah, I’m bitter.  I’m bitter that I did everything right — went to college, got a good degree, worked hard, never assaulted a crowd of innocent people with chemical spray — and a violent maniac made more than double my annual pay while sitting on his ass at home waiting to be fired.

      1. It’s not a liberatarian fantasy: he makes that money because he belongs to a union.

        Real wages for most people in this country have collapsed over the past three decades — generally the only people for whom they have somewhat held are people who have unions to fight for them.

        I’m not in a union, and I’m underpaid, and I feel pretty shitty about it, make no mistake.

        His behavior and standard wages for a UC police officer are two separate issues.

    3. re: “ZOMG a garbage man, who’s obviously stupid and incompetent and worth less than I am because, you know, garbage, makes $80k a year!”

      It isn’t that people are stupid or incompetent – it’s having a salary that matches one’s skillset. Being a cop – a CAMPUS cop – isn’t a $100K  job.  Wasteful spending like this is why kids can’t afford college.

      1. No: the middle class not making a living wage is why they can’t afford to send their kids to college: and not because they’d have more money, because if they made more money the tax revenue of the states wouldn’t have collapsed, which is why everyone in the UC system, particularly those who don’t have a union fighting for them, are woefully underpaid.  And even the union employees are taking cuts to benefits, just no as harsh.  In the years where I haven’t had an explicit pay cut I’ve had an implicit pay cut thanks to my salary not tracking inflation.

      2. This is misguided. The reasons why kids and adults can’t afford college are because:

        (1) the state and federal governments have been disinvesting in public education for about four decades. For example, the university where I began teaching three years ago got about 16% of its budget from the state then: this past year it got about %12. As a result universities turn to tuition hikes. One solution would be public reinvestment in education. One tactic would be a student registration strike which could, no exaggeration, financially my university with, say 10% participating for a given school year.

        (2) the philosophical perspective likening universities to a private corporation (selling a job training program) needing to be managed (as opposed to a public institution needing to be invested in (maintaining an educated populace) has also played a role within the university administration, which has seen dramatic bloat in assistant presidents and assistant deans and such whose very expensive jobs are largely about maximizing revenue and rents for the institution often at the expense of the educational mission.

        That said: fuck the pigs while you are at it, and it is appalling that the entry level pig makes so much more than non-entry level tenure track faculty. But I would rather see the faculty salaries up (and more faculty hired) than see the pig’s salary down (better quality pigs needed, though).

  6. Now his brutality can be rewarded with another sweet gig in law enforcement elsewhere.

    Police always protect their own. No matter what.

  7. So this guy landed a nine month paid vacation because he pepper sprayed those students? That’s ludicrous…

    If I was suspended from my job because of something I did, I wouldn’t get my full salary while I was off work. Police treat the time off as the punishment, as if being able to treat people horribly is the real perk of working as a police officer. I’m sorry, but a police officer that is suspended shouldn’t get his full pay, otherwise they could look at this as a reward.

  8. Meanwhile, cops like Anthony “Tony Baloney” Bologna suffer the terrible loss of ten days of vacation time for similar actions.  Unfortunately about what I expected.

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