The Very Best of the Lt. Pike Meme People

The Very Best of the Lt. Pike Meme

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It's a photograph that has now become an iconic image of the Occupy Wall Street movement. During a protest at UC Davis, a police officer in riot gear - later identified as Lt. John Pike - was filmed walking in front of seated student protesters, blasting pepper spray into their faces. The students had interlocked arms to prevent officers from taking them away.

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.)
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  1. 16
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    Having a Bad Knight

    This is why Lt. Pike rarely gets invited to official state functions. (The painting is "The Accolade" by Edmund Blair Leighton, for the curious.)

    (via Sage Serif on Google+)

  2. 17
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    Which One's Pike?

    Trivia: If you douse your face in pepper spray and simultaneously start Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," it still totally hurts like a bitch.

    (via Kosso K on Google+)

  3. 18
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    Tensions Are Too Damn High

    There's a lot going on in this entry. I might need to sit down and catch my breath for a second here...

    (via Sage Serif on Google+)

  4. 19
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    Pike Gets High

    Pike has here been inserted into the famous photograph, "New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam," taken atop the unfinished GE Building in 1932. Back then, the penalty for pepper spraying a colleague was a night in the hoosegow and a fine of 12 haypennies.

  5. 20
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    A Brief History of Pepper Spray

    Pike's not crazy about theoretical physics either.

items 16 - 20 of 33

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