King County Officer Fired For Putting Pepper Spray on Homeless People’s Water Bottles

A persons belongings in The Jungle, the encampment under I-5 that was swept last October.

“The King County Sheriff’s Office last week fired a sheriff’s deputy for contaminating a water bottle at a homeless encampment with pepper spray, according to internal investigative documents obtained through a public records request.

Former senior deputy Derek DeZiel, who served on the force for eight years, admitted in interviews that he put “a little squirt of pepper spray” on the tip of a homeless man’s water bottle with the intention of discouraging the man from returning to an encampment. “He’s going to understand that he’s no longer welcome here and he won’t be under the bridges anymore,” DeZiel said, explaining the technique.”


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