A Columbia police officer who was fired for shoving a prisoner in a holding cell has lost his bid to get his job back.

KMIZ-TV reports that Judge Dennis Rolf ruled Monday that Columbia's former city manager had sufficient evidence to support firing former Officer Rob Sanders.

The police chief fired Sanders in 2011 after he shoved Kenneth Baker, who was screaming for water for his eyes because officers had used pepper spray on him while arresting him on two felony warrants. After he was shoved, Baker hit his head on a wall, fracturing a vertebra.

Sanders said he was following policies, but Burton said the use of force was inexcusable.

Sanders was acquitted of misdemeanor assault, and his attorney sued when the city manager didn't reinstate the veteran officer.