The police officer who casually pepper-sprayed students at University of California, Davis, was involved in a discrimination lawsuit alleging that he used an anti-gay slur against an openly-gay officer, the Daily Mail reports. The racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit specifically singled out Lt. John Pike, a retired Marine sergeant, for “using a profane anti-gay epithet” against a gay police officer. The case ended in a $250,000 settlement:
Officer Calvin Chang’s 2003 discrimination complaint against the university’s police chief and the UC Board of Regents alleged he was systematically marginalized as the result of anti-gay and racist attitudes on the force, and he specifically claimed Pike described him using a profane anti-gay epithet.
Katehi identified Pike as one of the officers involved in the pepper-spray incident in an interview with the campus television station Sunday, and university communications staff confirmed his role Tuesday.
Watch a local news report about the story:
“When I saw that, I was as shocked as anybody else, but not surprised when I realized who it was,” Chang, the accusing officer, told a local ABC affiliate. “Every police officer should know students have a right, citizens have a right to assemble and to peacefully protest. And they should not be met with violence.”
Pike and another officer have been placed on paid administrative leave.