Lawyers: Polk County guards abused teen inmates

TAMPA, Fla. - Civil rights lawyers are asking a federal judge to temporarily stop pepper spraying and abusing juvenile inmates at the Polk County Jail.

The temporary injunction hearing began Monday in U.S. District Court in Tampa.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit in March on behalf of the parents of seven teenagers who claimed they suffered as a result of being subject to an "adult correctional model" in the Polk County jail, rather than being housed in a juvenile facility staffed by professionals who are experts in working with troubled children.

On Monday, lawyers for the center called a witness who was 17 when he was detained in January and pepper sprayed.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.