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Gipson Bill AB 360 to Ban the Term Excited Delirium Passes Assembly Floor with Bipartisan Support

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 24, 2023) --- Last Thursday, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson), Chair of the California Assembly Democratic Caucus, had his bill AB 360 pass the Assembly House Floor with bipartisan support. The final vote count was 75 aye votes and 0 no votes. This bill builds on Assemblymember Gipson’s previous bills, AB 490 (Gipson, 2021) and AB 1196 (Gipson, 2020), both signed into law.  

Assembly Bill 360 aims to ban the term “excited delirium” as a legitimate diagnosis or cause of death for those who have lost their lives while in police custody.

“This issue was brought to my attention through very tragic circumstances. In 2020, Angelo Quinto, a Filipino-American Navy Veteran dealing with a mental health crisis, stopped breathing while two police officers knelt on his back and neck. Mr. Quinto’s official cause of death was determined to be excited delirium,” said Assemblymember Mike. A Gipson (D-Carson). “That is absolutely absurd. Excited delirium is not a reliable, independent medical or psychiatric diagnosis. There are no diagnostic guidelines, and it is not recognized in the DSM-5, which is the main diagnosis guide for mental health providers. Neither the American Medical Association nor the American Psychiatric Association recognizes this term as a legitimate diagnosis. In fact, the only place where this term is continuously used is to describe deaths that occur in police custody. The term was first used in 1985 to explain a series of sudden deaths of 32 Black Women in police custody. From the beginning, this terminology has been disproportionately applied to communities of color and has only been used in specific contexts pertaining to encounters with law enforcement.”

AB 360 intends to prohibit “excited delirium” from being recognized as a legitimate medical diagnosis or cause of death on a death certificate. This bill would prohibit a peace officer from using the term “excited delirium” to describe an individual in an incident report, but it would not deny the peace officer from describing an individual’s actions. This bill is moving on to the Senate for committee assignment.