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Some Like It Hot

Oleoresin Capsaicin. Otherwise known as OC spray, pepper spray, or immobilizing gas. I've never seen it immobilize anyone though. The opposite in fact. They might do a lot of things after they get sprayed but they sure aren't immobilized.

July 7, 2010 was the first time someone had singled me out to use OC spray on. Lt. King claims in his report that he used the OC spray to try and prevent me from destroying contraband that I was attempting to flush in the cell toilet. That's a blatant lie. If he were trying to prevent me from doing anything, he would've sprayed me before I'd come to the toilet and flushed any alleged contraband. The reason Lt.King sprayed me was revenge. I didn't come directly to the door and allow him to cuff me, and he felt I'd flushed contraband, so he sprayed me - emptying about half a can of spray on me - to retaliate.

Anyway, it was an interesting experience and didn't exactly have the effect that King was trying for. I think I was the only one who wasn't coughing or sneezing or both. I don't know why. What bothered me initially was that after I was handcuffed I couldn't wipe my glasses clean or prevent the spray from running down into my eyes and mouth.

Eventually I was allowed to splash some water on my face, though it didn't do much good since OC spray is oil-based. Then I was made to sit in a holding cell, restrained, still covered in pepper spray for about (4) four hours. They're supposed to take anyone who has been sprayed to the hospital or clinic for decontamination. That never happened.

Finally I was taken back to the building and I convinced a lieutenant to let me tray and wash the spray off in the shower. It was dried and matted in my hair. BIG mistake. When washing off OC spray, only cold water is tolerable. Anything besides cold water causes irritation, and the water in the shower was hot.

I now know that no matter how you contort yourself, if water starts up top, its gonna run down your body. Yep. Unless you've sunburned your genitals (and I don't want to know how you did that) you cannot imagine how pepper spray feels on your more tender parts. Take my word on that. Before I came out of that shower, I sounded like I was in Lamaze class. In my mind I was calling on God, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, my Momma . . . Everyone. Would've been great if I were a masochist. (That time with my ex doesn't count.)

To top it all off, most of my property was covered in OC spray. There was nowhere to lay down without spending hours cleaning. After a few days I became accustomed to the burning sensation. I kept finding spray on things and couldn't clean all traces off everything. Adding insult to injury, they moved me into a cell where someone else had been sprayed and the cell was still coated in OC. You would think that it would repel mosquitos, at least. ~sigh~ It doesn't.


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About Me

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Steven Farris is a prisoner who has been incarcerated since a month after his 16th birthday in 1998. Currently serving a life sentence without the possibility for parole, he is seeking to educate the public about the true nature of prison and the widespread and negative effects of the prison industrial complex. Steven has worked with both the National Prison Project of the ACLU, as well as the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in furthering this effort.

You can contact him directly at:
Steven Farris #R5580
P.O. Box 1889
Woodville, MS 39669-1889

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