Kamran Loghman helped develop Capsicum-based pepper sprays in the 1980s but says today that the less-than-lethal agent is being misused.
Loghman, who today is adjunct faculty for leadership at the US Naval Academy, helped develop oleoresin (OC) capsicum from peppers into a lachrymatory agent (a fancy word for something that will turn you into a snot monster once it takes effect on your nasal passages) for an intermediate use of force for police between going hands on with someone and more lethal methods such as an impact weapon (baton) or firearm.
If you have never tasted the spray yourself, it is measured in Scoville heat units or SHU’s in degrees of hotness. For instance, a sweet bell pepper is 0 SHUs while a red chile pepper is 750 SHUs. A jalepeno runs about 5,000. A habanero: 200,000.
Most OC spray on the market starts at about 2 million SHUs and some LE blends go up to 6 million.
Sure, in most cases the affects will wear off in about an hour and leave no lasting disability, but Loghman says law enforcement, corrections and the military often abuse the agent.
“Used properly, pepper-spray is not a form of attack,” Loghman says in the above video. “It is meant to reduce injury. It is used to prevent problems. It is not meant to be used to shut people up, for punishing people, for controlling people.”
Subsequent videos, where Loghman goes into more detail, are below.