Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pepper spray inventor speaks out (video)

The New York Times and Boing Boing
They used to deploy firehoses and attack dogs against peaceful CRM demonstrators. Now there's pepper spray in the hose, "an inappropriate and improper use of chemical agents [against OM]," according to Loghman.[22]

Kamran Loghman, the man who helped the FBI make it a weapon in the 1980s, has denounced its use against peaceful student protesters on the campus of UC Davis. In an interview, Loghman said "I have never seen such an inappropriate and improper use of chemical agents."

Loghman, who also helped to create guidelines for police department use of the spray, added that use-of-force manuals mandate that it should only be used if someone poses a physical threat. There's nothing intimidating about a bunch of kids sitting in a circle, but this brings up an interesting argument: would people be satisfied if physical force had been used rather than pepper spray?

The way we see it, serving facials to a group of non-violent students constitutes as excessive force, especially considering the potency of the pepper spray and the distance at which it was. Again, the recommended minimum distance is 6 feet, and campus police officers were right in the faces of those kids. In an interview conducted last weekend, one student said he caught a throat full of pepper spray. Although he couldn't confirm it, he mentions that others said they saw Lt. John Pike intentionally spray down his throat.

No comments: