Anyway, after the video of the incident went viral, Lieutenant Pike was suspended with pay from his $110,000-a-year job (that's not a typo) while the university conducted an investigation. While the officers claimed that they were trapped by the students and justified in their use of pepper spray (and totally not creaming their pants at the opportunity to finally try out their shiny new Judge Dredd gear, honest), an investigation found that the use of force was "objectively unreasonable" and that even the size of the pepper spray can was against regulations ("against regulations" being their fancy-pants way of saying "compensating for something").
In the end, Pike got the boot and we all gave peace a chance. Right?
The Tragic Aftermath:
Well, a couple months later, Pike filed for worker's comp because of the emotional trauma stemming from the death threats he and his family received after the incident (Which, to be fair, is right fucked up. Shame on you, Internet). Following a psychiatric evaluation, the university awarded him just over $38,000, which is approximately one dollar for each stinging tear shed by the 21 students.
Brian Nguyen/The Aggie
On the bright side, the theater department's production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory finally found its Oompa Loompas.
Meanwhile, said group of students filed suit with the university and were awarded a $1 million settlement. Now, before you get too excited, a huge chunk of that went to their lawyers, in addition to another chunk set aside for any other potential plaintiffs that might come forward, leaving them around $30,000 each. At least it's something, but when you compare that to the eight months of pay plus a larger settlement for the guy who taught those students that their freedom of assembly is null and void when weighed against the riot-gear-induced uber boner of a power-drunk campus cop, it seems more than a little ludicrous that they ended up with what basically amounted to a coupon for one free semester or one free chemistry textbook (offer not valid for both).
Quick, somebody arrange a protest.