Pa. prisons pledge reform and agree to pay $8.5 million after Philly man died from pepper spray.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 09/08/21: “In the last moments of Tyrone Briggs’ life — after ingesting a cloud of pepper spray — the 29-year-old Philadelphia man was heard telling staff at State Correctional Institution Mahanoy, ‘I can’t breathe.’

Now, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by Briggs’ family, and to implement new protocols on the use of pepper spray. The agreement, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for Pennsylvania’s Western District and pending approval, is the largest settlement ever paid for a state prison death in Pennsylvania.

Briggs’ mother, Shaleda Busbee, said she hopes the reforms will shield others — particularly those who, like Briggs, suffer from asthma — from similar life-threatening situations.

‘This is very significant that justice is served in a great way, not monetarily but through the system and changing their laws,’ she said. ‘This cannot happen to another family.’”

Read the full story here.