The police chief at the University of California, Davis, overruled an internal affairs panel recommendation and fired a lieutenant who soaked demonstrators with pepper spray during a campus protest.
The Sacramento Bee has obtained documents showing investigators concluded Lt. John Pike acted reasonably and should face demotion or suspension at worst.
But police Chief Matthew Carmichael rejected those findings and wrote Pike on April 27 that he planned to fire him.
The internal affairs report concedes the video showing Pike spraying seated protesters last November is disturbing.
But investigators say Pike repeatedly warned students protesting tuition hikes that they would be pepper-sprayed if they didn't leave the Quad.
The report says officers were encircled by protesters.
Pike says he unleashed pepper spray to get his officers out of danger.