UC Davis officer an Internet 'meme' after pepper-spray incident
It is hard to know how the gentlemen and gentlewomen of the late 19th century would have responded to being blasted in the face with pepper spray.
But in a Photoshopped image of Georges Seurat’s famous pointillist painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” a hat-wearing victim with an umbrella over her head appears totally unfazed.
The woman is enjoying her outing and does not flinch as the man reported to be Lt. John Pike of the UC Davis campus police sprays the brown substance (which did not emerge until the next century) into her eyes.
Pike began popping into the frames of some of the world’s most famous art this weekend after a viral video surfaced Friday showing the officer pepper-spraying UC Davis students who were quietly protesting in their quad.
On the Tumblr website, Pike can be spotted in Picasso’s “Guernica” and pepper-spraying himself in Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory.”
Many Web users have been offering up their interpretations of the lieutenant’s actions in an effort to shame him. As many as 116 images, paintings and otherwise have been uploaded to knowyourmeme.com, on which Pike is seen pepper-spaying everyone from the Rugrats to religious figures.
Pike has been honored for his campus police work, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza was placed on administrative leave Monday morning, and two unidentified campus police officers were also put on leave Sunday in the wake of the incident.
-- Matt Stevens
Photo: Georges Seurat’s "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" with Lt. John Pike Photoshopped in. Credit: peppersprayingcop.tumblr.com