UC Davis campus police officer Lt. John Pike, who infamously doused unarmed student protesters with pepper spray last November, ended his tenure at the campus late last month.
The campus has not released details regarding the officer’s leave and it is unknown whether he willingly parted ways with the university. UC Davis spokesperson Claudia Morain said confidentiality laws prevent the university from revealing the circumstances surrounding Pike’s departure.
“There are privacy laws that govern personnel,” Morain said. “And because of that, we can’t comment.”
The incident resulted in national uproar against the officer’s actions and prompted UC President Mark Yudof, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi and other university officials to launch multiple investigations into the confrontation.
A task force of administrators, professors and students — led by UC Davis School of Law professor Cruz Reynoso — released an investigative report last April debating the legality of Pike’s actions.
“The pepper spraying incident that took place on Nov. 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented,” the report states.
The report goes on to explain that the type of pepper spray Pike used was not authorized by UC Police Department officials.
“Lt. Pike is also responsible for the specific pepper spray weapon he used, the MK-9, and the manner in which he used it,” the report states. “And Lt. Pike did not use it correctly. The MK-9 is a higher pressure type of pepper spray than what officers normally carry on their utility belts.”
Furthermore, the report states the recommended minimum application distance for the MK-9 pepper spray to be six feet. Pictures of the incident taken by surrounding demonstrators reveal that the pepper spray was administered at a much closer distance.