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Lt. John Pike Goes Viral (13)

We know that the police used MK-9 ― because the citizen-journalism stills and videos of the events of November 18, 2011 at UC Davis document it. But how did these cops get their hands on military-grade pepper spray that they were not authorized to carry or trained to use, and that their department had no authority to purchase or supply to its officers? […]

Lt. John Pike Goes Viral (12)

Were it not for all that still and video documentation, in the late afternoon of November 18, 2011 we’d have found ourselves in a protesters’-word-vs.-police-officers’-word situation, with the cops’ version most likely prevailing in the absence of hard evidence to the contrary. And, since the protesters would probably not have the ability to differentiate between MK-4 and MK-9, Pike and his “troops,” as he liked to militarize them semantically, would only have had to rustle up a few cans of authorized MK-4 while hiding the MK-9 in order to appear to have followed the rules. I doubt that it would have lasted more than two news cycles. […]

Lt. John Pike Goes Viral (11)

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has become the last woman standing, so to speak, in the school’s pepper-spray scandal. Everyone else in any position of authority in the hierarchy either resigned or got the heave-ho. Within a year or so all the students Lt. John Pike sprayed will have graduated or left. In less than a year Katehi will become vested in the UC retirement plan. That should take some of the sting out of the fact that her eventual obit will surely replay her November 19, 2011 televised “walk of shame” along a path lined with the students whose trust she’d betrayed. […]

Lt. John Pike Goes Viral (8)

To the $1 million settlement in the UC Davis pepper-spray lawsuit add the $1,116,135 in actual monies paid out to manage this crisis, plus $1 million for other internal expenses and $1 million for diminished reputation. And let’s not forget the $240K Pike cost the university as settlement in a 2008 racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit resulting from his alleged homophobic slurs directed at an openly gay Asian-American fellow officer. Grand total so far: $4,356,135. That’s one pricey hire. […]

Lt. John Pike Goes Viral (7)

“Waddling like a cocksure duck,” as one commentator at the Dangerous Minds site put it, Pike with his blithe disregard for the multiple still and video cameras trained on him all but ensured that his actions, and his attitude in performing them, would go viral. What resulted was not only Pike’s transformation into a memetic icon but, much more importantly, an object lesson in the potency of citizen journalism as enabled by the internet. […]