Pepper spray not meant for casual use

pepper sprayfrom Total Dick-head

Pepper Spray’s Fallout, From Crowd Control to Mocking Images
[Via NYT > Home]

Images of campus police at the University of California, Davis, spraying the Kool-Aid-colored orange compound on docile protesters have made pepper spray a topic of national debate.


Pepper spray was developed for use by police against imminent physical attack, not as a tool for painful compliance or punishment. One of the developer’s of the technology, who worked with the FBI to create this ‘non-lethal;’ tool stated in the article:

“I have never seen such an inappropriate and improper use of chemical agents,” Mr. Loghman said in an interview.

Mr. Loghman, who also helped develop guidelines for police departments using the spray, said that use-of-force manuals generally advise that pepper spray is appropriate only if a person is physically threatening a police officer or another person.

This ‘tool’ can have severe effects on some people, causing permanent damage to their health. In prisons, the use of pepper spray is tightly controlled. A sitting prisoner is, by definition, not a threat. If pepper spray is to be used, doctors are required to be present in order to deal with anyone who might have a severe reaction to the pepper spray.

Any officer in prison who treated a sitting prisoner as these students were treated would have been very rapidly booted out even before the lawsuits happened.

Painful torture to force compliance is not what these tools were developed for.

Yet we have seen police spray directly into and down people’s throats from close range. Their faces and clothes are drenched in the potent chemical. Not to disperse, not to control but to punish with intense pain.

And there was no medical attention paid to any of the students. Some were helped by other students. Others were just man-handled away by the police, never receiving any medical attention.. Prisoners apparently have more rights than peaceful students.

People have died after being pepper sprayed. Many have been hospitalized. Severe asthma attacks are common.Yet these cops just see it as no different than spraying weeds. No thought that their actions could severely harm the peaceful students.

Even when used properly, pepper spray is not non-lethal but only less-than-lethal. And it is not being used properly.

At Davis, the students were sitting down and posed no direct threat to the police. But the police had their pepper spray canisters so they just decided to use them – making their life easier but putting people’s health into jeopardy. To punish the students for making the officer’s life difficult.

As can easily be seen in the vital video, the police were not trapped. They could simply step over the students. Several of them did. The pepper spray was to teach them a lesson.