December 14, 1996 |
Responding to warnings that the pepper spray wielded by Philadelphia police can be deadly, Police Commissioner Richard Neal has tightened controls on use of the debilitating spray. Officers carrying the spray, which stings the eyes and drives people to their knees in convulsive coughing, are getting briefings on its potential dangers, a Police Department spokesman said yesterday. And a recent directive from Neal instructs officers not to use the spray against nonviolent suspects, orderly crowds, children, the elderly, pregnant women or people believed to be suffering from heart or respiratory problems.
December 30, 1996 |
It was the wedding from hell: The bride's father got into an argument with the disc jockey. Two guests who had been drinking at the reception started pushing each other. Someone called 911. When he arrived at the Collegeville Inn, police officer James C. Rupell took one look at the scene, whipped out a can of Bodyguard pepper spray, held it above the crowd, and began spraying in a sweeping motion, Rupell testified later. A pregnant woman doubled over, children screamed, and guests streamed out of the basement reception hall coughing and rubbing their eyes and faces, according to testimony from witnesses at the 1993 wedding.
March 8, 1997 |
Wheezing, coughing players and fans, their eyes tearing from pepper spray that had filtered into the gym, left Camden High in a bewildered state yesterday after Atlantic City's stunning boys' basketball victory over the Panthers. Fourth-seeded Atlantic City overcame a 14-point second-quarter deficit and jolted top-seeded Camden, 60-56, in a South Jersey Group 4 semifinal that ended prematurely because of a disturbance among fans outside the gym. No arrests were made and no one was seriously injured, police said.
October 3, 1998 |
What school officials described as a "mini-riot" erupted at Edgewood Senior High in Winslow Township yesterday afternoon as students filed back into the building after a telephoned bomb threat had cleared the school. Winslow Police Officer Kevin Brundage, who works full-time at the school, used pepper spray to subdue a chaotic crowd of between 15 and 20 students in a school hallway, Lower Camden County Regional School District spokeswoman Jeanne Smith said. Several students, faculty and staff members were hit by the spray and were treated by the school nurse, Smith said, but no one was seriously injured.
March 4, 1996 |
It stings like a bushel of peppers, burns the eyes, shuts down nasal passages, and drives victims to their knees in convulsive coughing and gagging. And now, packaged in three-inch black and red canisters, it is being strapped on the belts of Philadelphia police officers. There is only one problem, critics say: Pepper spray can be lethal. Since November, about 5 percent of the 6,100-officer force has been outfitted with the defensive weapon, with the rest to be trained and equipped over the coming months.
February 21, 1993 |
Officer Dean Miller remembered it as one of the most unpleasant things he has experienced. A small canister was pointed at his face, and in seconds, the stinging sensation of pepper hit his eyes. "It was like nothing you'd imagine. I couldn't function," said Miller, a member of the Lansdale Police Department, who was sprayed as part of his training in the use of the cayenne pepper spray. In the ever-changing war on crime, Lansdale police have spiced up their arsenal. In addition to the usual guns and batons, each of the borough's 22 officers is now carrying the cayenne pepper-based spray as an additional weapon.
March 12, 1998 |
A game that was physical on the floor spilled into the stands, so Camden's state Group 3 boys' basketball semifinal was called with 63 seconds left to play and Long Branch declared a 58-47 winner at Brick Memorial High last night. Instead of celebrating with shouts of joy and hugs, Long Branch players ran to the locker room as fights broke out close to the Camden bench in stands filled mostly with Green Wave fans. Police brought in dogs and sprayed pepper spray to control the crowd, estimated at 2,000, and at least two arrests were made.
April 13, 1995 |
It was supposed to be a peaceful "Day of Outrage," planned by students who continue to demand the resignation of Rutgers University President Francis Lawrence. Instead, it turned ugly yesterday when police, using clubs and pepper spray, clashed with protesters after they sat and blocked a busy university intersection. The confrontation between members of the United Student Coalition, which organized the march and rally, and the Piscataway Police Department was brief but intense.
October 31, 2003 |
When a Penn professor's husband was pepper-sprayed and arrested on campus recently, some at the university raised questions about possible racial profiling by campus police. The debate prodded University of Pennsylvania president Judith Rodin to order a committee to review the Oct. 11 incident and the effectiveness of the campus police ban on profiling. The committee is to hold its first meeting today and is expected to issue a report within four months. Lance Donaldson-Evans, chairman of Penn's faculty senate, said the faculty asked for a review because the incident "did raise questions of possible racial profiling" and because the versions narrated by the policewoman involved and Rui DaSilva, the African American man arrested, were "quite different.
December 23, 2012 |
The grandfather I've never met is standing at the surf's edge in my mind, on an empty beach I've painted from a memory passed down to me as a child. His khaki pants are rolled above his ankles, but waves crash into his calves and little baitfish dart between his bare feet. He steadies a long, wooden fishing rod against his thigh and wipes the spray from his glasses with a handkerchief, then jams it back into the breastpocket of his undershirt and regains his grip. There's a little boy beside him, unsteady in the tide and he's staring up earnestly, in awe. They are alone on this late-summer afternoon that I've imagined half a century ago, a father and son whose time together is running out. The boy's blue eyes study each grain of sand that sticks to my grandfather's sweaty, wrinkled brow, every gray hair the easterly wind shakes like a reed, and they trace every shadow that ripples between the sinewy muscles on his forearms.