UC Davis Police Chief Overrules Panel, Fires Pepper-Spray Officer

DAVIS, Calif. — UC Davis Police Chief Matthew Carmichael rejected a review that found Lt. John Pike should have faced demotion or a suspension at worst for his involvement in a pepper-spraying controversy that took place on campus in November. Instead, Pike was fired.

An internal affairs investigation found that Pike had acted reasonably, The Sacramento Bee reports. However, Chief Carmichael wrote in a letter to Pike that “the needs of the department do not justify your continued employment,” according to the documents.

Pike had repeatedly warned protestors that they would be pepper-sprayed if they did not disperse, and that “the police officers were fully encircled by protesters who had locked arms and would not let the officers exit,” according to the report. He also voiced concerns about the plan to remove protestors and felt that the operation should be called off.

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