Numerous videos and images of police violently cracking down against peaceful OccupyWallStreet (OWS) protestors went viral in the final months of 2011.
But one video in particular caught the nation’s attention: a YouTube clip of a cop in riot gear emptying a canister of pepper spray into the faces of seated college demonstrators at UC Davis in California.
Unsurprisingly, Lt. John Pike quickly became an Internet meme, with the shamed police officer appearing in faux famous works of art and pepper-spraying various characters.
The incident also sparked outrage across the ‘Net, with the Davis Faculty Association (DFA) calling for the immediate resignation of Chancellor Katehi, who adamantly refused to step down.
And the protestors themselves?
Well, Yolo County prosecutors have decided they won’t be filing charges against the OWS supporters who were arrested due to “insufficient information” in UC Davis police reports. According to District Attorney Jeff Reisig, of the eight men and two women who could have faced misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and failure to disperse, seven were students.
Pike, campus Police Chief Annette Spicuzza and another officer remain on paid administrative leave – pending the outcome of investigations.
“There’s still a collective outrage,” 22-year-old David Buscho, who was pepper-sprayed during the protest, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Most people on campus are waiting for meaningful policy change, and we still haven’t heard any findings on the police investigation into what went on that day when we were pepper-sprayed. Just the fact that they sent riot police into that situation was pretty ridiculous and egregious.”