An editorial from a local news outlet sums it up this way.
"Nearly a year ago, UC Davis attracted international attention when videos portraying campus police officers pepper-spraying a row of seated protesters went viral on the Web. Recently released transcripts of interviews with campus administration, police and witnesses taken after the incident may provide new insight into its circumstances.
The Nov. 18 confrontation, the climax of a series of protests on the UC Davis campus linked to the larger Occupy movement, began as demonstrations against budget cuts and as a reaction to police using batons on protesters at UC Berkeley earlier that month.
A task force headed by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso investigated the events and released a report April 11 of this year condemning the administration and the police department for flaws in the decision-making process and what it characterizes as an unnecessary use of force.
Top campus administrators composing the UC Davis Leadership Team ordered campus police to remove tents set up by protesters partly because they were afraid people not affiliated with the university were infiltrating the movement on campus, the interviews suggest. In her interview, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi expressed concern about safety risks observed in wilder encampments like Occupy Oakland, particularly while the protesters might be violating a policy that prohibited camping on campus.
“If anything happens to any student while we’re in violation of policy, it’s a very tough thing to overcome,” Katehi said in her interview.
According to the Reynoso report, the administration was citing California Code of Regulations, title 5, section 100005 — a law that prohibits people not affiliated with the campus from camping on university property — as the legal basis for the police operation. Thus, the legal framework behind the operation depended on the presence of these nonaffiliates, whose number varied by the source estimating them."
Interview transcripts shed light on UC Davis pepper-spray incident - The Daily Californian
So, if I understand, the report sided with the popular political concerns in their conclusions, but totally discounted that the University had a responsibility under the law to not allow camping of the OWS UC movement on the grounds.
Tough choice, but in my estimation the University, and police made the right call.