Multiple Jan. 6 defendants were taken out of their cells on stretchers on Thursday, according to a court filing.
The situation started when one of the defendants refused to wear a mask, family members of Kelly Meggs, who is being held in the D.C. Jail, told Meggs lawyer.
Prison guards began spraying a chemical substance described as “some kind of mace or pepper spray, according to a filing in federal court.
“They sprayed mace or some type of gas at an inmate and kept missing so it went into an intake that fed into other cells and the lady with the key left because she didn’t like the gas, so the inmates in the cells who were being fed the gas from that intake were locked in for like 15 minutes while it was going into their rooms and they couldn’t see/breathe,” the family told Jonathon Moseley, the lawyer.
More than one of the defendants was taken out on stretchers to medical bays.
Julie Kelly, a writer for the American Greatness, reported on Wednesday that prison guards filled an area of the jail with chemical spray and three detainees had to be taken out on stretchers.
Moseley and the D.C. Department of Corrections did not respond to requests for comment.
The lawyer said his client was not in one of the cells that the gas was cycled into by the ventilation system. He urged the court to explore with the Bureau of Prisons and Congress whether any federal funds are already or can be allocated to repair and upgrade the D.C. Jail facilities.
Neither prosecutors nor the judge has yet responded to the filing.
The jail has been under heightened scrutiny in recent months due to its holding of dozens of people accused of participating in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
One defendant, Christopher Worrell, was released from pretrial custody last week because U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth became troubled by the lack of proper medical care he received from the jail.