Groups seek probe into pepper spray use

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Updated: 7/28/2014 5:32 pm

SAN DIEGO (AP) — California civil rights organizations have filed a complaint with the Justice Department asking for a federal investigation into the use of pepper spray in San Diego County's juvenile detention facilities.

The complaint filed Monday alleges that pepper spray use is rampant against youth offenders, including those at risk of suicide or self-harm. It also says officials have used it against youth who failed to follow verbal instructions and on minors with sensitive medical conditions.

The San Francisco-based Youth Law Center, the California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. and a San Diego-area coalition of community organizations, including the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, jointly filed the complaint.

Justice Department and county officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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