College students and alumni that were injured when a police officer at the University of California, Davis, discharged military-grade pepper-spray in their face during a peaceful protest last year will split a settlement of roughly $1,000,000.
Members of the UC Regents board agreed earlier this month on a settlement to be split among the 21 demonstrators targeted by a campus cop since removed from the force, but the final amount was not disclosed until now. The Sacramento Bee reports on Wednesday that the board had decided behind closed doors on a figure of roughly $1 million.
"We did an injustice to our students that day at Davis, and some amount of recompense is appropriate,” UC Davis student regent Jonathan Stein told the Los Angeles Times after their meeting earlier this month. “More importantly, it's time for us as an institution to publicly acknowledge that's not the way we should treat our students; we were wrong, and we are moving forward.”
The terms of the settlement were unsealed in federal court Wednesday morning and, assuming the appropriate papers are authorized by a federal judge, each of the 21 plaintiffs in the case are expected to receive $30,000, totaling $630,000 in all. Additional plaintiffs are invited to come forward and file claims in order to collect from a pool of $100,000 set aside for a class action suit, and $250,000 will be handed to the attorneys who handled the case.
Lt. John Pike, the officer who injured the protesters during a peaceful demonstration that was caught on tape and took the Internet by storm, was placed on paid administrative leave for several months after the November 18, 2011 sit-in on the Davis campus. Student and alumni had gathered at the school to protest rising tuition fees.
The internal affairs investigation alone into Lt. Pike’s actions cost the university $230,256.73, the Bee reports.