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Excited Delirium

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Sidestepping the Excited Delirium Debate

Depending on who you ask, excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is either a group of symptoms that warn of a life-threatening medical condition or it is a diagnosis invented by racist and abusive police to excuse murder.1,2 Among those that use the term ExDS, the medical consensus is that ExDS is not a unique disease but...
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New Study: Excited Delirium, Injury, and Use of Force

A new study led by Simon Baldwin1 examined over 10,700 use of force cases and found a significant risk of adverse outcomes in cases involving excited delirium syndrome (ExDS).2 Researchers assumed that an encounter with someone exhibiting probable ExDS might result in adverse outcomes, including greater levels of force and increased risk of injury to...
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“I Am Concerned About Excited Delirium….”

“I am concerned about excited delirium….” Minneapolis Officer describing George Floyd The recent release of court documents and body-cam footage surrounding George Floyd’s death predictably thrust Excited Delirium Syndrome (ExD) back into the news. Following George Floyd’s death, media outlets had already begun to revive the false, anti-police narrative that ExD is nothing more than...
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Accountability Meets Inconvenient Truths

Cognitive dissonance: that terrible feeling you get when confronted with information that challenges your view of the world. You can ignore the new information, blindly accept it, or interrogate it. Look for distinctions between what you believed and what you are being told. If there are none, maybe you just learned something and can adjust...
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Leading the National Discussion on Policing

As our nation continues to wrestle with police reform, many Americans are eager to join the conversation. What they are finding is that understanding and fairly judging police practices is not easy. Those of you with careers in criminal justice are likely fielding calls from friends and family wanting to know the difference between carotid...
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Conducted Electrical Weapon (CEW) Research

New Research Report Clears CEWs of Another Alleged Danger

In our last article, we reported new research findings that refute the claim by some plaintiffs’ attorneys that an officer putting a knee on the back of a prone suspect can cause fatal “restraint asphyxia.” Now a different research team, headed by the same scientist, is challenging another allegation sometimes raised by police critics: that...
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Rumored Risk Of CEWs Put To Rest (No, They Don’t Cause ExDS)

Some researchers have speculated that shocks from conducted energy weapons may induce excited delirium in resistant arrestees. But a new study serves to debunk that rumored risk. The speculation has centered on serotonin, an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the human body. Abnormally high levels of serotonin can be life-threatening, while producing some of the...
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New Study: Perils & Protections In Dealing With Excited Delirium

A new study headed by an Advanced Force Science Specialist finds that an officer who confronts a subject in the throes of excited delirium stands nearly a 90% chance of ending up on the ground in a struggle with potentially serious consequences. The more symptoms of excited delirium a subject exhibits, the greater his likelihood...
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More That Officers Should Know About High-Risk ExDS Encounters

In reporting another new study of excited delirium, researcher Dr. Darrell Ross offers additional insights for improving the safety of officers and subjects alike in these fraught confrontations. The goal is not to train or expect officers to make clinical diagnoses in the field as psychiatric experts, Ross says. “But providing them with research findings...
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New Court Decision: Must De-Escalation Be Tried First Before Force?

After a half-naked man in the throes of excited delirium died following a struggle with sheriff’s deputies, his widow alleged in a federal civil rights legal action that: the officers should not have used any force against him until they first attempted de-escalation techniques; their “excessive” force-first actions violated legal protections for the disabled and...
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