MANHATTAN — Nearly a dozen correction officers were taken to the hospital after being exposed to pepper spray at the Manhattan Detention Complex Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The 11 officers suffered minor injuries after the spray was used when seven inmates refused a cell search, according to the city’s Department of Correction. They were all taken to New York Downtown Hospital for evaluation at about 2:30 p.m., an FDNY spokesman said.
No inmates were injured, according to the DOC.
“The safety of our officers is Commissioner Ponte’s number one priority,” a DOC spokeswoman said in an email.
“That is why we have launched a comprehensive program of meaningful reform that includes many measures to improve officer safety — such as providing officers with specialized training in conflict de-escalation and mental health first aid.”
The spokeswoman did not immediately answer questions about how the spray was discharged and why so many officers were exposed.
The center is attached to Manhattan Criminal Court and is generally used to house inmates awaiting an arraignment or court appearance.