Friday, July 26, 2013

Pepper-Spraying Cop Applies For Workers Comp, Claiming Psych Injuries

This is astonishing. At the same time, in this day and age, it's unsurprising. Here's a submicroscopic snippet from AP via TPM:
Cop Who Pepper-Sprayed Students At Occupy Protest Wants Worker’s Compensation For ‘Psychiatric Injury’

DAVIS, Calif. (AP) — The former police officer who pepper-sprayed students during an Occupy protest at the University of California, Davis is appealing for worker’s compensation, claiming he suffered psychiatric injury from the 2011 confrontation.

You remember? THIS guy?

I agree he needs therapy. I suggest music therapy. Perhaps a thousand repetitions of the inimitable Dave Lippman's "Sgt. Pepper Spray & Heads Clubbed Band" ...


  1. Under California law if it happened as a result of actions on the job and he needed medical treatment as a result, he's entitled to worker's comp. It doesn't matter that what happened was due to his own stupidity.

    Do note that all that worker's comp will pay here is his psychiatrist's bill. Nothing else under California law, he can't get payment for lost income for example. There's a separate fund, short term disability, into which employers and employees both pay, that he must file with in order to get disability payments, and they are term limited. If he claims he was permanently disabled as a result of what happened on the job, under California law his only recourse is to file for federal disability. Good luck with that!

    In short, there's less to this than what it seems. He isn't going to see one dime as a result of filing for worker's comp -- his psychiatrist will turn in a claim, and the state will pay his psychiatrist. That's it. For a supposedly "anti-business" state, California makes it surprisingly hard for a worker to sue his employer for compensation for injuries that occur on the job. All he gets is his medical bills paid and short-term disability payments while he recovers, that's it. Any other penalty against the employer -- if the employer was negligent, for example -- has to be levied by the state.

    1. 'tux, I agree that people in that circumstance need therapy, and who but the state should pay for it. I suspect most "normal" people enlisted in efforts that include perpetration of violence against non-resisting groups or individuals probably end up needing therapy. I think it is fair for me (or any member of the public) to ask exactly what the state intends to accomplish. Will this fellow "get better"? will he decline to pepper-spray people if the occasion arises again? if he does decline, will he lose his job? There are all kinds of opportunities for things to go awry when an agent of a government discovers that his/her heart really isn't in the job. The ready availability of giant economy sized cans of pepper spray does not help matters!



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