South Gate Police Chief Doug Christ was fired Tuesday by City Manager Sam Nassar, who said Christ showed a "lack of leadership" during the city's recent political crisis.
But some residents called the action politically motivated, noting two police unions, with the chief's support, have sponsored a recall effort to oust the council majority.
Christ has been criticized by Mayor Raul Moriel for not restraining audience members at boisterous council meetings. Others credited Christ for not stifling the free speech of residents. Robert Todd, a 24-year department veteran, was named acting chief.