How dangerous is pepper spray? | World news | guardian.co.uk

22 Nov

…If the Dutch findings are right, police officers wading into a peaceful protest and spraying people are more likely to cause violence than to stop it; use of pepper spray in these kinds of situations isn’t just excessive and unfair, but also stupid.

And while the benefits of sprays in the right situations were clear, controlling officers once they had these weapons proved to be difficult. Across the forces studied, some 6% to 15% of uses of pepper spray were against suspects that posed no threat to either officers or civilians. Often suspects were sprayed from too close a distance or for too long.

Worryingly, an “unknown number” of officers took to carrying their sprays while off duty. Research into pepper sprays has tended to focus on their health effects, but perhaps it should also look at its impact on the psychology of the officers carrying them.

via How dangerous is pepper spray? | World news | guardian.co.uk.

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