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NC: Officer acted appropriately in spraying inmate

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Division of Prisons says its staff acted appropriately when it pepper sprayed a mentally ill inmate locked in a tiny cell.

Lawyers for the state filed a response Monday in the case of Jerry C. Williams, an inmate diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia kept in solitary confinement at Central Prison. A lawsuit filed on Williams' behalf claims he was repeatedly doused with pepper spray during a 2009 standoff initiated when the inmate jammed a plastic food tray through a small slot in his cell door.

The state says its use of force was justified because the tray struck correctional officer Marshal Griffin in the leg. Williams then readied to hurl a cup of liquid, a threat of "imminent assault" to which Griffin responded with pepper spray.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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I was a C/O for 21 years in

I was a C/O for 21 years in Indiana, the way our use of force SOG was written was, if a lawful command is given by an officer, and that command is disregarded, or disobeyed than O/C spray was used. It goes, verbal, O/C, soft empty hand, then closed hand, and deadly force such as collapsible baton.