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Effort underway to ban use of controversial term attached to numerous in-custody deaths

Our ongoing investigation has found more than 139 deaths attached to the term “excited delirium.” Now one state legislator says it’s time for the term to die.

DENVER — California is looking to be the first state in the country to effectively ban the use of the term “excited delirium” on such things as death certificates, autopsy reports and police reports.

The move comes after a number of high-profile, in-custody deaths in the state.

One of those deaths involved a man by the name Angelo Quinto.

Quinto, 30, died in late 2020 after members of the Antioch Police Department in California restrained him facedown in his family’s home.

Quinto’s death certificate says he died from “excited delirium.” It’s a controversial term that the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Medical Examiners said is not a medical diagnosis.

A 9NEWS ORIGINALS investigation has linked more than 139 deaths to the term since 2010.

All but two happened during or shortly after law enforcement involvement.

California Assemblymember Mike Gipson, a Democrat, recently sponsored AB 360 which would, if passed, “prohibit ‘excited delirium’… from being recognized as a valid medical diagnosis or cause of death in this state.”

It would also “prohibit a peace officer from using the term… to describe an individual in an incident report.”

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this term has been used by medical examiners’ offices when people had been placed in custody or restrained,” said Gipson.

“It’s absolutely time for excited delirium to die,” he added.

Angelo Quinto’s family is in full support of the legislation.

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