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NCJ Number: 150113 Find in a Library
Title: OC Spray: Setting the Record Straight
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:18  Issue:5  Dated:(May 1994)  Pages:37-39,74-75
Author(s): D McCauley
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the health dangers of OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray to the person sprayed and considers how this spray should be used in the hierarchy of tactics for subduing resisting suspects.
Abstract: Proponents of OC spray argue that it is an excellent less-than-lethal force option for police. Critics point to the case of Angelo Robinson, who died while in police custody after having been sprayed with OC. The autopsy report concluded that the cause of Robinson's death was asphyxia precipitated by the spray. Since that time, significant research has been done on issues pertinent to the safe use of OC spray. The International Association of Chiefs of Police recently completed lengthy research into the deaths of subjects sprayed with OC by police personnel. The research found that all of the deaths involved a struggle with police. Most involved drugs or alcohol. Positional asphyxia was a factor in some of the deaths. There is no indication that the OC by itself caused the deaths. Police decisionmakers should note that there is no body of comparison data available on rates of in-custody deaths in general. Such information would lend additional credence to the findings if it shows that the incidence of non-OC-related, in-custody deaths was consistent with OC- involved cases. In the mean time, officers who use OC spray should monitor the subdued suspect's reactions and position to ensure that any health problems are promptly addressed.
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Aerosol projectors; Chemical irritants; Less lethal technologies; Science and Technology
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