Pepper-Spray Use on Los Angeles Juvenile Detainees Rises 154 Percent

Pepper spray was used 747 times on juvenile detainees in Los Angeles in 2017, a new report has revealed, as officials warn that officers are using it in inappropriate and avoidable situations. The review from the Los Angeles County Office of Inspector General, seen by the Los Angeles Times, says that the Probation Department relies too heavily on the spray because it doesn’t have good enough training, supervision, and accountability systems. It shows that pepper-spray use across all department facilities increased from 294 incidents in 2015 to 747 in 2017, representing a jump of 154 percent. About 400 incidents were reported through July 2018, making those cases on course to at least match the number in 2017. The department blamed a number of issues for the rise, including staffing and training challenges, and officers being worried about engaging in physical acts to subdue youths.