A North Carolina prison inmate won a $10,000 settlement from the state after filing a lawsuit alleging he was repeatedly pepper-sprayed by corrections officers – twice while he was naked, the Charlotte Observer reports. Inmate Bill Rayburn contended officers at Lanesboro Correctional Institution sprayed him four times last year after he asked to be moved away from an inmate who’d been threatening him. Then, Rayburn said, those officers refused to let him wash off the burning chemical.
An investigation by the state correction department found that employees involved in the incident had violated the agency’s use-of-force policy. That policy says guards may use pepper spray to deter “violent, threatening or aggressive” inmates or to defend against an assault. Inmates are supposed to be given “an immediate opportunity” to wash off the chemicals. After that investigation, state officials replaced a top administrator at the prison and disciplined six other prison employees.