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Civil Liability for the Use of Pepper Spray (OC), Tear Gas, and Chemical Agents, Part 1 [and] Part 2

This article is an excellent resource for those who want a basic understanding of those civil issues impacting the use of pepper spray and other chemical agents by law enforcement and correctional officers. "Pepper Spray (OC) and other chemical weapons are intended and designed to be used as disabling agents, for law enforcement officers and correctional personnel to use to attempt to overcome resistance, and to subdue persons with minimal injuries to officers, arrestees and others. Chemical weapons can be used in situations in which a disturbance involves a number of people, but they also are effective against an actively resisting individual. This is not a technical article, and it does not survey the wide variety of specific chemical weapons available to law enforcement and correctional personnel, or to assess their pros and cons. Rather, the focus is to briefly look at how courts have discussed their use in the context of civil lawsuits for excessive force" (Part 1, p. 101). Sections of this article include: introduction; use by law enforcement, use on handcuffed persons; warnings; crowds and bystanders; the aftermath of their use; New Orleans Consent Decree; correctional settings; and suggestions to consider.