"Pike, one of the officers who sprayed the students, is a retired Marine sergeant who has been honored for his police work on campus, but he also figured in a discrimination lawsuit against the university.
He has risen swiftly through the ranks of the UC Davis police force over the last decade. As one of four lieutenants, the 39-year-old supervises more than one-third of the sworn officers, including the investigations unit.
He has twice been honored by the university for exceptional police work, including a 2006 incident in which he tackled a scissor-wielding hospital patient who was threatening fellow officers. Afterward, he said he decided against using pepper spray because it might harm his colleagues or other hospital patients.
But an alleged anti-gay slur by Pike also figured in a racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit a former police officer filed against the department, which ended in a $240,000 settlement in 2008. Officer Calvin Chang's 2003 discrimination complaint against the university's police chief and the UC Board of Regents alleged he was systematically marginalized as the result of anti-gay and racist attitudes on the force, and he specifically claimed Pike described him using a profane anti-gay epithet.
Katehi identified Pike as one of the officers involved in the pepper-spray incident in an interview with the campus television station Sunday, and university communications staff confirmed his role Tuesday.
As the controversy over the spraying incident has grown, images of the lieutenant have become the subject of a popular blog, which features his image superimposed on famous paintings and spraying famous figures, from Gandhi to John F. Kennedy. The handcraft site Etsy.com also is selling a T-shirt emblazoned with Pike's image but showing flowers coming out of his spray can.
Over the weekend, the hacker group Anonymous, which is affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, posted on its website Pike's phone number and other personal details..."
John Pike, U.C. Davis Pepper-Spraying Police Officer, Previously Honored
Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis
"...what happened Friday on the campus of the University of California Davis has struck a chord. In a demonstration of support for the Occupy movement, a small group of protesters was sitting, arms linked together. Campus police told them to move. The students didn't. And that's when an officer walked down the line of seated men and women, pepper-spraying them. Some took it straight in their faces. Many of the several hundred others who were there screamed in terror and frustration.
A video of the incident has been viewed more than half a million times so far and has spread the story.
Campus police said the officers had been surrounded by protesters and commanders have defended their actions. So did university Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi — which led to a call from the school's faculty association for her resignation. Katehi has since said she wants an outside, independent panel to review what happened and that she doesn't plan to step down.
There's a second video related to this story that we want to share. In some ways it's more powerful than the one that's been going viral.
On Saturday, after a news conference she held, Katehi remained inside one of the university's buildings for a couple hours. Outside, protesters regrouped. And when she emerged, there was one of the most amazing scenes so far related to the Occupy movement. As Katehi and another woman walked three blocks to an SUV, they passed through a gauntlet of several hundred students — who remained silent in a powerful show of their disdain..."
UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car (higher quality)