(CNN) -- The pepper-spraying of student protesters at the University of California-Davis was an "objectively unreasonable" use of force by campus police, a state review of the incident concluded Wednesday.
Scenes of UC-Davis police Lt. John Pike spraying seated demonstrators with the irritant at point-blank range went viral on the Internet and triggered widespread criticism of school authorities. A 190-page report by a University of California task force concluded that the incident "should and could have been prevented."
The report spreads blame for the events that led to the confrontation across several members of the UC-Davis leadership but said Pike was primarily responsible for the "objectively unreasonable decision" to pepper-spray the demonstrators.
"On balance, the evidence does not provide an objective, factual basis for Lt. Pike's purported belief that he was trapped, that any of his officers were trapped, or that the safety of their arrestees was at issue," the report states. "Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police."
CNN Wire Staff