The incident has led to calls for University of California Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to resign (she said she found the images "chilling") as well as public outcry in general over the use of pepper spray by authorities on otherwise non-violent targets.
It has also led to a new Internet meme, in which the image of Lt. Pike and his pepper spray dispenser are placed in unlikely and humorous scenarios that highlight it as a violent and over-the-top reaction to something non-threatening. (The meme is alternately referred to as the "Pepper Spray Meme" or the "Scumbag Pike" meme, a reference to the ongoing "Scumbag" series of memes and again meant to ridicule Pike as craven and abusing his authority.)
This list represents the very best - thus far - of the Lt. Pike Pepper Spray meme. (With special thanks to Kwikset on Tumblr, the Google Plus feeds of Billy Galbreath and Sage Serif and @Xeni on Twitter for pointing me to some of these great entries.)
Pike Makes a Declaration
A pretty savvy political statement is made by inserting Pike into John Trumbull's famous painting, "Declaration of Independence." Note that Pike is blasting the pepper spray on to the document itself.
Lt Pike is the Law
Pike here is referencing Judge Dredd, a police officer who, in a violent f*tureworld, acted as judge, jury and even executioner upon encountering criminality.
Pike Meme Signs Appear at UC Davis
Protests at UC Davis got a lot more meta- on the Monday after the pepper spray incident, when the Lt. Pike meme started showing up on the actual signs.(via @salmonsoir on Twitpic)
Straight Outta Davis
Wow, these guys must have had a SERIOUS falling out. Like... legendary.