parties reach one million dollar settlement in pepper spray lawsuit

by Tim Phillips

On November 18, 2011, University of California Davis students and recent alumni demonstrated against tuition hikes and the mistreatment of demonstrators at UC Berkeley. Campus police ordered the UC Davis demonstrators, who were seated, to disperse. The demonstrators remained seated, prompting UC Davis police lieutenant John Pike to repeatedly spray them with military grade pepper spray at point-blank range. Another officer sprayed them from behind.

Today their attorneys announced the details regarding a settlement of their lawsuit against UC Davis, which a federal judge must approve:

The University will pay $1 million as part of the settlement. This includes a total of $730,000 to the named plaintiffs and others who were arrested or pepper-sprayed on November 18. It will also include up to $250,000 in costs and attorney fees.

This equates to $30,000 for each of the 21 plaintiffs, plus an additional $100,000 to be divided among other individuals who were pepper-sprayed or wrongfully arrested that day. Pike, the “pepper spray cop,” lost his job but will not face criminal charges.