An eight-person federal jury has returned a unanimous verdict for the Q-Tip Pepper Spray Eight activists/plaintiffs, finding the County of Humboldt and City of Eureka liable for excessive force in violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The excessive force was used by Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies and Eureka Police Officers when they applied pepper spray with Q-tips directly to the eyes of the eight nonviolent forest defense protesters in three incidents in 1997. Three of the activists were also sprayed directly in the eyes from inches away. Two of the young women were juveniles. Former Sheriff Dennis Lewis and current Sheriff Gary Philp also were found liable for causing the use of excessive force by setting policies allowing the unprecedented use of pepper spray on the passive demonstrators, who had locked their arms together inside metal pipes. [.....] The jury awarded nominal damages of only $1 to each of the plaintiffs, who made it clear all along that they weren't suing for the money, but to bring about a change of policy, to prevent the future use of pepper spray in Humboldt in the way it was used on them. They hope and expect that the verdict will reverberate far beyond rural Humboldt County to make it clear that police can not use the extremely painful pepper spray on non-violent people to coerce them to follow orders.