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Is Pepper Spray Excessive Force in California?

— May 23, 2022

The use of pepper spray can be considered an example of police brutality under certain circumstances.

Police in California are often lauded for using non-lethal forms of weaponry. These might include tasers, rubber bullets, and of course, pepper spray. While these weapons are non-lethal, they are not non-harmful. Serious, painful injuries can be caused by pepper spray. In addition, pepper spray has the potential to harm innocent bystanders. So can pepper spray really be considered a form of police brutality? What options do you have if you were injured by pepper spray?

If you think you may have experienced police brutality, your best bet is to get in touch with a qualified, experienced police brutality attorney in California as soon as possible. These legal professionals can help you take action against negligent police officers, including those who have used pepper spray canisters in a discriminate and reckless manner. With an attorney’s help, you can sue these police officers and recover considerable settlements for your damages. 

Is Pepper Spray Dangerous?

Pepper spray is extremely dangerous under certain circumstances. In 1995, it was reported that pepper spray had caused at least 60 deaths over the prior five years, and all of these deaths were related to police incidents. It is also worth mentioning that pepper spray is used frequently against dogs and bears. This weapon has the potential to be lethal because it can cause shortness of breath and the burning of the lungs. The main component of pepper spray is something called capsaicin, which is actually extracted from spicy fruits such as chili peppers.

Red chiles; image by Artem Beliaikin, via
Red chiles; image by Artem Beliaikin, via

Pepper spray has no long-term effects on a person’s vision. However, death can result if the suspect is taking certain drugs. In addition, pepper spray can be lethal if used when police officers are using restraining techniques that restrict the suspect’s breathing passages. 

Is the Use of Pepper Spray Considered Police Brutality?

The use of pepper spray can be considered an example of police brutality under certain circumstances. Over the years, courts have developed strict guidelines for the use of pepper spray, and police are now instructed to never use pepper spray against docile or fully restrained individuals. If a person poses no threat to a police officer, they cannot be pepper-sprayed. For example, someone who is handcuffed in the back of a police car cannot be pepper-sprayed, even if they are shouting abuse and expletives at the officers. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have experienced police brutality in Los Angeles, it’s in your best interests to get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. There are many legal professionals who are wholeheartedly committed to helping injured victims pursue justice. With their help, you can spark meaningful change in the way we approach law enforcement in California. Book your consultation today and explore your legal options with the help of a qualified attorney. 

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