The family of a Colorado Springs teenager filed a lawsuit against three local police officers after a terrifying incident last October, when the girl was pepper-sprayed while she was having a panic attack. Amara Keens-Dumas, who was 17 at the time, had just argued with her boyfriend and someone alerted the police due to the noise. When the officers arrived at the scene they found a very distressed girl who wasn’t doing anything wrong. She would not cooperate with the officers and repeatedly asked for her mommy. Instead, the officers handcuffed her and dragged her to their patrol car. What happened next is a clear example of police brutality.
Bodycam footage revealed one of the officers asked his colleagues:
“Has she been sprayed?”
“No, not yet,” one of them replied.
One of the officers sprayed her in the face, twice, then closed the door of the car, leaving the girl in a toxic cloud of pepper spray.
The three officers involved have been sued under a Colorado law enacted in 2020, following the massive George Floyd protests. Senate Bill 217 made it possible to hold law enforcement agents personally liable for excessive force while on duty..
When can Colorado police officers use pepper spray?
Colorado police officers are allowed to use pepper spray as a non-lethal means of force to subdue a suspect or protect themselves and others. Pepper spray is frequently used during protests, mostly without any justification.. Excessive or unjustified use of pepper spray can result in disciplinary action or criminal charges against the officer. If you were a victim of such an act, you must see a doctor as soon as possible. For your own health, but also because you will need medical records to prove you were injured during a police action. Next, you must reach out to skilled Denver police brutality lawyers who will help you sue those responsible.
What are the dangers if you are pepper-sprayed?
Pepper spray, also known as oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, is a chemical compound that irritates the eyes, nose, and throat.
Respiratory problems: When pepper spray is inhaled, it can cause coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and other respiratory issues. In severe cases, it can lead to swelling of the airways and difficulty breathing.
Eye irritation: Pepper spray causes intense eye irritation, including burning, redness, tearing, and temporary blindness. The effects can last for up to several hours.
Skin irritation: The chemical compound in pepper spray can cause skin irritation, including itching, burning, and blistering.
Psychological effects: Being pepper sprayed can cause anxiety, panic, and disorientation, which can lead to loss of coordination and balance. Do not hesitate to see a mental health expert. Seasoned Colorado police brutality lawyers often use the testimony of a mental expert to describe the pain and suffering their client has endured since the incident.
Allergic reactions: Some people may experience an allergic reaction to pepper spray, which can cause more severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling of the face and throat. In some individuals, an allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction.
Death: While deaths directly attributed to pepper spray are rare, it is possible for someone to die after being pepper sprayed, particularly if they have pre-existing conditions or are exposed to a high concentration of the chemical compound.
If you were a victim of any type of police brutality, you should contact an experienced civil rights lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm to see how to file a formal complaint or a lawsuit against those responsible for your injuries.
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