A Queensland police officer has been fired over a viral video of him allegedly allowing a young man to spray himself with pepper.
Footage posted to social media late last month shows a Gold Coast officer standing by as the man holds pepper spray, technically known as pepper spray (OC), close to his face.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: A Queensland police officer stands by as a young man sprays himself with paprika.
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The footage shows the man contemplating the decision to self-administer the spray in front of a group of onlookers.
The officer then extends his hand before the man sprays the substance on his face.
He shows signs of discomfort almost immediately before leaning over in sheer pain.
“Cops are spraying peppers, but make it more homemade (do it yourself),” reads the caption to one version of the video posted on social media.
The incident triggered an investigation by the Queensland Police which resulted in the dismissal of the Chief Constable of the Gold Coast.
“The pictured male senior constable from the South East Region has been discharged from his service with the Queensland Police Service (QPS),” a spokesman for 7NEWS said on Wednesday.
“QPS takes this matter very seriously and it is being actively investigated by the Ethics Standards Command.
“Therefore, no further comments can be made at this stage.”
According to a 2005 Commission on Crime and Corruption review, capsicum spray was presented to Queensland police officers for trial in 2000 as “a safer and more effective solution to violence.”
The report describes the action of the spray as “rapid and debilitating”.
“OC causes an immediate sensation of intense pain and tearing in the eyes, as well as inflammation of the airways, leading to uncontrollable coughing fits and difficulty breathing,” the report says.
“Despite the strong initial effect, disinfection is as simple as washing the face with cool water for 10-45 minutes.”