Faux Lt. John Pike: Pepper Spraying Protesters Sure Pays Off
A couple of years ago, as a police officer at UC Davis, I used my pepper spray on a group of peaceful student protesters who were sitting on the ground non-violently. It was a pretty frightening, tense, situation. Someone could have gotten hurt by me.
Now, a lot of people seem to have a problem with the fact that I just made more money from workers comp for pepper spraying those kids than they got in settlement money for being pepper sprayed.
But I can explain that. I can explain everything. I am, when you think about it, the only reliable witness, since all the protesters were obviously unable to see clearly what happened.
The first thing you need to understand is this: I had never been in this situation before, since nobody has ever sat non-violently while I was on duty. They don't teach you how to handle that sort of thing in the Police Academy. I challenge anyone to come up with a non-violent solution to their non-violence. I'm pretty sure it can't be done.
I don't mean to pass the buck, but my annual salary was just over $110,000 -- not nearly enough to handle non-violent protesters on a school campus. Who could have imagined a demonstration on a college campus? We just weren't prepared for something so out-of-the-blue.
Of course, I got depressed after the spraying: I was there when this terrible event happened. I was probably closer to it than anyone. The thought that someone could commit such a horrible act, and not even be punished, shook my faith in human goodness. I just don't understand why, two years later, nobody has taken responsibility.
And now people are saying that I shouldn't have gotten the $38,000 check for my psychological pain and suffering. That's very hurtful. I'm asking you, please -- there's no need to overreact and escalate the situation. That would just be crazy. We can discuss this like reasonable people.
Science proves you can get PTSD from committing violent acts against other people. That's what happened to me, which technically makes me one of my own victims. But for some reason, the courts decided that I wasn't entitled to any of the settlement money handed out to the other victims of that horrific act. I alone was singled out for continued mistreatment and injustice. I have to tell you: the verdict, it made me cry. My eyes were, well, teary.
Now having been denied the settlement money I needed to help me get through the consequences of my odious actions, I had no other choice but to file a workers comp claim. Somebody had failed to keep me off the streets, and that person needed to pay for my irresponsibility. If only someone could have stopped me.
It makes sense to me that I'd get more money than the kids I injured. I mean, they were out there protesting, sitting on the ground. That's a bad decision, and people shouldn't be rewarded for making bad decisions. Giving people money for making bad decisions throws the whole concept of personal responsibility out the window. People have to be held accountable for the awful things they do.
It's the basis for our whole system of justice. Unless, of course, they're cops.
The point is you would have applied for workers comp, too. You're no better than me. Except that you didn't pepper spray a bunch of innocent people.
Man do I hate the way somebody's always ready to throw that in my face.
Have you no shame?
Benjamin Wachs is a literary chameleon