Excited Delirium: Fact or Fiction?
There is a lot of talk among law enforcement and a few medical examiners, who choose to explain the deaths of, (sad to say), mostly men of color, while in police custody with the term â€œExcited Deliriumâ€. But what exactly does this mean? Well, you will not find this term in a medical dictionary because not even the American Medical Association has recognized this as an actual medical condition. But, to hear some medical examiners tell it, anyone who is high on cocaine, methamphetamines, is highly intoxicated, etc. will become extremely agitated and once they come into contact with the police, their heart will begin to race, their body temperatures rise so fast that their organs fail and lo and behold, they are no longer breathing.
The interesting thing is these victims have been in police custody while this has happened. And 9 times out of 10, there has been some excessive force on the part of the arresting officers, including the victim being tased, or hogtied or beaten with a baton. Sound a little strange to you? Well it does to me as well. Because this sounds an awful like the blame being put on the victim as opposed to some accountability being put on the officers who were at the scene.
Now, if an officer who has been trained to recognize when someone is intoxicated or having a mental crisis, comes into contact with an individual displaying signs of being in this altered state of mind, does it really make sense to use the same tools of apprehending this individual as you would someone who was lucid and sober? Does it make sense to use tools that knowingly will exacerbate health conditions when a person is in this state? And how do you explain the individuals who werenâ€™t high or intoxicated but still died at the hands of the officers?
Just food for thought. I donâ€™t have any answers, just more questions. But this is something to think about the next time you hear of someone dying while in police custody, Just ask yourself did they really die of an overdose, or could it possibly be that the blame needs to be placed with the last individuals the victim had the misfortune of seeing before their life was taken away.