actually way worse than that headline makes it sound!
The girl sat on the bunk in her cell in one of San Diego County’s female juvenile-detention units as staff members explained that she was being placed on suicide watch. They told her she had to strip naked in front of them—including in front of a male staff member.
She refused, twice. So, they sprayed her in the face with pepper spray, then shut the door to her cell.
Two minutes later, they asked if she was going to cooperate. She refused, and they sprayed her a second time and again shut the door.
Minutes later, they opened the door and sprayed her again. She vomited. They then sprayed her yet once more.
After the fourth blast of pepper spray, the girl finally submitted. Probation staff ordered her to crawl out of the cell, where they handcuffed her, forcibly removed her clothing, cut off her shirt and bra, strip-searched her, put her in a gown and placed her in solitary confinement for 48 hours.
This account is one of dozens of abuses of pepper spray by the San Diego County Probation Department at its East Mesa and Kearny Mesa juvenile facilities revealed today by the Youth Law Center (YLC), a San Francisco legal advocacy nonprofit.