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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 (10)

To fully exploit his global name recognition and the free visual branding that he achieved with the help of hundreds of volunteer photo collagists (including yours truly), I suggest that John Pike should consider a career in politics. He may be a liberal goat, but he became an overnight conservative hero. The right wing loved him for unleashing their ’60s-vintage fury at college students in general. [...]

Lt. John Pike Goes Viral (9)

In his 1968 book The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defined chutzpah as “that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.” In that spirit (though he’s not Jewish), John Pike, formerly a lieutenant in the campus police at the University of California, Davis, filed a worker’s compensation claim with the State of California for “psychiatric injury,” which can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). [...]