UC Davis police chief resigns after pepper spray controversy


A still from a video showing UC-Davis police officer spraying Occupy protesters with pepper spray.

Annette M. Spicuzza, the UC Davis police chief, has decided to retire following the controversial pepper spray incident that occurred in November. 

"As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine," Spicuzza wrote in an email to the Sacramento Bee. "I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed."

More from GlobalPost: Promises, pitfalls await investors in Burma’s frontier

Her resignation comes a week after a campus task force released a report blasting administrators for allowing the incident to occur. 

On November 18, Lt. John Pike was caught on film calmly pepper spraying a group of peaceful protesters at UC Davis. The protesters had set up tents on campus for an Occupy protest. Video footage of Pike spraying the students went viral and received national media attention.

"The pepper-spraying incident that took place on Nov. 18, 2011, should and could have been prevented," the report said.

After the incident, Spicuzza tried to defend school officials by saying that they were concerned that most of the Occupy protesters were not actually students. But the task force found that not to be the case, the New York Times reported. The report said that most of the protesters were, in fact, UC Davis students. 

Pike and Spicuzza had been suspended on paid leave following the incident, the Associated Press reported