Officers engaged in inappropriate and avoidable uses of pepper spray to subdue detainees in Los Angeles County juvenile detention facilities in recent years, sometimes violating their own rules mandating its use as a last resort, according to a report issued Monday.
The review by the Los Angeles County Office of Inspector General found that the Probation Department has inadequate training, supervision and accountability systems that contribute to an over-reliance on the spray, which is designed to cause severe irritation in the eyes and skin to control unruly subjects.
The report doesn’t reveal many new details about specific cases or data from 2018.
It does recommend 18 changes to the department’s policies related to its officers’ reliance on pepper spray, in addition to raising the question of whether its use should be discontinued, as some juvenile justice reform advocates have argued.
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