Videos at trial show Calif. inmates pepper-sprayed

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Videos showing California prison guards blasting mentally ill inmates with pepper spray in their cells were shown publicly for the first time as a federal trial began over state corrections procedures.

Attorneys for mentally ill inmates say the videos shown Tuesday are evidence that the state should revise policies for using force.

The videos from Corcoran and Kern Valley state prisons show inmates screaming after the pepper spray is used, eventually being removed from their cells.

Eldon Vail, the former director of the Washington state prison system, testified that the force used in the videos appeared excessive. He criticized follow-up reports for not questioning what led to the use of force.

Attorneys representing the state said in opening statements that there is no pattern of excessive force by prison guards.

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