‘Excited Delirium’ blamed for deaths in police custody

Cases Adult UK - Police & Restraintall credits: Buzz Feed
published: 29 October 2016

During the summer of 2011, 25-year-old Jacob Michael died after being restrained by 11 police officers outside his home. Just 45 minutes prior to his death he had dialled 999 saying he feared for his life.

Witnesses saw Michael being repeatedly hit with police batons, moments after two officers from Cheshire constabulary released pepper spray into his face, the BBC reported. CCTV footage showed officers holding Michael down on the floor. There was evidence that he had broken ribs and a torn liver.

An inquest into his death concluded that Michael died from cocaine-induced “excited delirium” – a controversial medical condition you probably haven’t heard of. The jury delivered a narrative verdict saying that officers were inadequately trained in identifying excited delirium, which may have contributed to his death.

His family were not satisfied with this. “As far as I’m concerned, if the police didn’t treat my lad the way they did, he would be here today,” Michael’s father said. “He did nothing wrong, he hadn’t committed any crime, he rang the police for help.”

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