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UC-Davis Police Chief, Sharply Criticized in Pepper-Spray Report, Will Retire

The University of California at Davis’s police chief, who came under sharp criticism in an independent panel’s report on the controversial pepper-spraying of student protesters last fall, has told The Sacramento Bee that she will step down. A university spokesman confirmed that the chief, Annette M. Spicuzza, would be retiring, effective Thursday. “The university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine,” Chief Spicuzza wrote in an e-mail statement to the newspaper. “I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed.” In a report released last week, the investigative panel described the police chief as being either a force of confusion or simply out of the loop during her force’s confrontation with student protesters last November. A video of the incident that went viral, and stirred widespread outrage, shows a police officer walking along a row of seated students and aiming pepper spray into their faces at close range.

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