his life was totally in danger.
True story; this officer (John Pike) got a settlement of $38,000 because he said he got depressed after pepper spraying these kids. Oh, the depression wasn’t for feeling remorseful for pepper spraying a bunch of college kids peacefully protesting. He got depressed because he said since the media kept playing the video of him pepper spraying peaceful kids without cause, he got threats and didn’t feel safe. He didn’t feel safe. I’m not making that up. This motherfucker collected nearly 40 grand on worker’s comp after assaulting a bunch of college kids.
I got into an argument about this with my brother, who went to UCDavis. We’re both veterans - he was a Marine, I was in the Army - and his reasoning why the cop shouldn’t be punished was because pepper spray is a vegetable (uhm, yeah, a fucking spicy vegetable you don’t want in your eyes) and since he’d been gassed during boot camp and it hasn’t bothered him, getting tear-gassed want a big deal.
But like, yeah, it is. I was gassed in Basic, too, and it wasn’t that big a deal for me - but there were soldiers who outweighed me by a hundred pounds on their knees outside, puking and sobbing, with snot running down their faces, because of the gas. We were told not to rub our faces, because rubbing it into our eyes could blind us.
These students were PEACEFULLY PROTESTING. Yes, they were warned they’d be gassed if they didn’t leave - BUT IT WAS THEIR RIGHT TO PROTEST PEACEFULLY, AND THE POLICE REACTED WITH VIOLENCE. The police used violent force and could have caused these students PERMANENT DAMAGE when they were NO PHYSICAL THREAT AT ALL.
So the lesson to learn from this is one, my family has a freakish immunity to the worst effects of tear gas/I’m assuming also pepper spray, two, not everyone shares this freakish immunity and therfore it shouldn’t be used to excuse policy brutality on peaceful protesters, and three, fuck this officer he’s a fucking fuck.