Trial focuses on pepper-spraying Calif. inmates

Oct 2, 2013 8:54 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Videos showing California prison guards using pepper spray on mentally ill inmates could be shown publicly for the first time during opening statements of a federal court trial.

The videos are a central part of the latest chapter in a long-running legal case that has required the state to significantly improve its treatment of mentally ill inmates.

Expert witnesses who viewed the videos say they show prison guards tossing chemical grenades and pumping pepper spray into the cells of mentally ill inmates, some of whom are seen screaming.

Corrections department spokesman Jeffrey Callison says if the videos are shown in open court during the trial that begins Tuesday in Sacramento, the state wants them to run in their entirety to provide proper context.


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