PEPPER SPRAY KILLS - Thursday, March 07, 2002

    Dear Senate, Reporters, Sunadamin, Advocates,
Below this letter is a lot of information telling what pepper spraying does to inmates.  I have written you reporters of this pepper spraying abuse in the Texas Prisons and this below proves more of what it does to these human beings. 87% of inmates are non violent and 99.9% of the entire US could be in prison for their wrongs, but most didn't get caught in their crimes and many like the OJ's, Bush Family, Clintons, and the like did get caught but the US does not have "EQUAL JUSTICE".   At the Wynne Unit in Huntsville Texas.....the guards are playing cops and robbers too much. They are spraying pepper many times a week and the seg cells that are 6 by 8 feet are too closed up for the pepper to get out of the cells.These inmates only complained because their food was being slopped together and the guards are paying them back by spraying. Their food is bad enough as it is, and then for it to be slopped together is really bad. The Polunsky Unit is being sprayed on a daily basis also.  Many people have died from the pepper spray as it locks up the airways. My son is inside and he has asthma and Lyme Disease and this pepper spraying has nearly killed him many times. These prisoners are mild and non violent...(at least 87% and higher, we believe) and they will be our next door neighbors in the future. These human beings are being treated worse than animals similar to the way men treat chickens as they train them for cock fights and the way men train bit bull dogs to fight.  Inmates go in the system as a small time criminal and leave acting as a pit bull and only for the reason that these guards and some wardens have sick minds and treat these humans in this way. Please help us STOP the pepper spraying and other abuses?
Thank you,
Brenda Pitts Bennett
701 Meadowdale
Royse City, Texas 75189
People with asthma, epilepsy, taking prescription medicine, lung conditions, heart conditions, youth, various physical disabilities, under the influence of drugs, and pregnant women should never come into contact with OC spray. "OC sprays cause upper respiratory inflammation; therefore, they may have detrimental effects on people with preexisting respiratory problems." (National Institute of Justice, Technology Assessment Program, 3/94)
health hazards on pepper spray
Sharing by:  Brenda Pitts Bennett
Texas Prisoners Advocates
    BAYTOWN - The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office has classified the death of a man who died shortly after being arrested by Baytown police as a homicide. Luis Torres, 45, died after an altercation with police Jan. 20 in which he was pepper sprayed. The medical examiner's office said Thursday that Torres - who was unarmed - died from "mechanical asphyxia (meaning something physically kept him from breathing) and blunt impact trauma."  In a press conference Thursday night, Interim Police Chief Byron Jones declined to comment on the cause of death, saying that the case is still under investigation and that he had not seen a final autopsy report. When Jones was shown a proof of death letter from the medical examiner's office, Jones said it was the first time he had seen it. Jones initially stated that the cause of death was mechanical asphyxia and did not mention blunt impact trauma. He said he did not believe excessive force was used in Torres' arrest. Furthermore, Jones said he did not anticipate any criminal chargesagainst Officers Bert Dillow, Micah Aldred and Sgt.  Rodney Evans. He said the officers followed proper procedures during the arrest. "I don't feel there was any unjustified force used," he said. All three officers were placed on administrative leave after the autopsy results were reported to the Baytown Police Department on Wednesday afternoon, Jones said. Jones said the investigation will turned over to a Harris County grand jury when it is complete. Torres was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at the former BayCoast Medical Center. Shortly after midnight, Baytown police had been called to investigate reports of a possibly intoxicated man walking in the street at the intersection of South Main and East Nazro streets. Upon arrival, Officers Aldred and Dillow located Torres in the 200 block of South Main Street. Aldred and Dillow spoke to Torres in English and Spanish and were attempting get him to put hands on the car, but Torres refused to cooperate and walked away, Jones said. A video of the incident exists, but Jones declined to show it to reporters during the press conference. Aldred and Dillow were told that Torres was the subject of an earlier emergency medical call. Earlier that night, Torres' family called an ambulance for Torres because of problems with high blood pressure. When the Baytown Emergency Medical Services arrived, Torres fled and paramedics reported seeing a shiny object in his hand, possibly a weapon. When Officers Aldred and Dillow attempted to question Torres about the earlier incident he became uncooperative. According to a police statement, "Mr.Torres resisted to the extent that pepper spray was required to detain him." Sgt. Evans arrived during the altercation and assisted in detaining Torres, Jones said. Baytown EMS was called to the scene, which is a police department policy in all pepper-spray incident. Torres had stopped breathing by the time paramedics arrived. Jones said that as far as he knew, the only force used to detain Torres was pepper spray. "There was a night stick there, but it wasn't used," he said. Attorney Michael Solar is representing Torres' family in a potential civil lawsuit against the city of Baytown. He said he was disturbed by the medical examiner's report."Suffice it to say that we will be contacting the FBI and other police agencies who may have an interest in this matter," he said. "We will thoroughly investigate and prosecute responsible parties." Solar claims to have post-mortem photographs which show that Torres was badly beaten. "I believe that the evidence is going to point to an overreaction on the part of the authorities in this instance," he said. "Rest assured that we're going to take all actions available under the law to obtain justice not only for    Mr. Torres but for his widow and children that he left behind." Jones said he had not seen any autopsy photos and declined to comment on Torres' physical state before or after the incident. Jones said an internal investigation is ongoing within the Baytown Police Department. The Harris County Attorney General's Office is also conducting an investigation into the incident. Jones said that as part of the investigation, the police department will review its policies on the use of force.
Doctors with us in our struggle....please consider e mailing me a brief description of what this pepper spraying will do to humans and to the sick ones also? Thanks!

This pepper spraying is happening to NON VIOLENT INMATES in segregation, daily, at the Wynne Unit at Huntsville Texas, and for no reason except that these sick guards want to play cops and robbers.My son, Chad Bennett # 790798  Wynne Unit Huntsville Texas 77349 has asthma and Lyme Disease and therefore this pepper is making him strain for air and hurts the lesions on his skin from the Lyme Disease. Please help us to STOP these sick minded guards and wardens from doing this! It is killing people! Above the statement made by Police Chief Jones, that the police followed proper procedure ought to make each of us angry!  If this is proper procedure for a non violent man to die for a cop to get his cookies.......we have troubles.
Thank you,
Brenda Pitts Bennett
Texas Prisoners Advocates