There’s a controversial concept called excited delirium that is supposedly responsible for many in-custody deaths. If you’ve read anything here, you know this is not a write-up on excited delirium.
Anyway, anti-police groups always claim this is a term used to absolve law enforcement officers from brutality. I never claim to be any kind of expert, but because I watch cops restrain a lot of people when I’m working, I know that:
- Cops really don’t like fighting with anyone, contrary to popular belief. It’s a lot of paperwork. Same reason they don’t like shooting or Tasing anyone, contrary to popular belief. In fact, sometimes I need to beg them to get their hands dirty (as we’re getting ours dirty wrestling some asshole).
- Cops are way less brutal than they really should be, if you ask me.
- Cops are only as brutal as the subject’s level of resistance.
- Restrained subjects who die are usually in some sort of hyperadrenergic state because of stimulant-type substances. Perhaps there’s a problem with positioning. There doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with the potheads or dopeheads.
- Subjects who are cooperative don’t just drop dead because of excited delirium; no one’s coined the term “mellow delirium” yet.
Here’s an old Chris Rock segment that sums it up: