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Investigation Underway After Pepper-Sprayed Inmate Dies At Men's Central Jail

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A man incarcerated at Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles died Tuesday afternoon after being pepper-sprayed by deputies trying to break up a fight. The identity of the deceased has not yet been released.

Authorities say that the man was pepper-sprayed by Sheriff's deputies to end an assault on a fellow inmate. Deputy Kimberly Alexander, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, told LAist that deputies first gave verbal commands to deescalate the assault before pepper spraying the man.

The man was handcuffed after being pepper-sprayed and was cooperative as he was escorted to the shower area for decontamination, according to Alexander. "During the decontamination shower, he began feeling ill and then became unconscious," Alexander said. Deputies first administered CPR while waiting for medical staff, and paramedics later pronounced the man dead at the scene after being unable to resuscitate him.

The cause of death is not yet known, and will be determined during the autopsy.