Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA) endorses AB 360 to ban the term “Excited Delirium” from being used as a cause of death

‘Excited delirium’ theory used in Antioch death is racist and unscientific. Support the Justice for Angelo Quinto campaign to win AB 360!

Mar 18, 2023
Asm. Gipson presenting AB360 – Excited Delirium, and Cassandra Quinto-Collins is the witness. AB 360, passed the Public Safety Committee with bipartisan support and no opposition! This bill aims to ban the term “Excited Delirium” from being used as a cause of death.

The American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, World Health Organization, Physicians for Human Rights, have all determined that the term to justify police killings of civilians is not scientific.

Yet, public agencies continue to use the term to absolve police from accountability when they murder civilians without actual just cause, “including in the Contra Costa County Coroner’s conclusion that Angelo Quinto, 30, died of “excited delirium” on Dec. 23, 2020, despite the fact that police knelt on his back for five minutes.

Research from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)

PHR Executive Summary

On December 23, 2020, Bella Quinto-Collins called 911, seeking help for her 30-year-old brother, Angelo Quinto, who was agitated and exhibiting signs of a mental health crisis at their home in Antioch, California. When two police officers arrived, they pulled Quinto from his mother’s arms onto the floor. At least twice, Quinto’s mother, Cassandra Quinto-Collins, heard him say to the officers, “Please don’t kill me.” Bella and Cassandra then watched in disbelief and horror as the two officers knelt on Quinto’s back for five minutes until he stopped breathing. Three days later, Quinto died in the hospital.[1]

It was not until August 2021 that the family learned the official determination of cause of death: a forensic pathologist testified during a coroner’s inquest that Quinto died from “excited delirium syndrome.”[2]

Angelo Quinto, a Filipino-American Navy veteran, is one of many people, disproportionately people of color, whose deaths at the hands of police have been attributed to “excited delirium” rather than to the conduct of law enforcement officers. In recent years, others have included Manuel Ellis, Zachary Bear Heels, Elijah McClain, Natasha McKenna, and Daniel Prude.[3] “Excited delirium” even emerged as a defense for the officers who killed George Floyd in 2020.[4]

An Austin-American Statesman investigation into each non-shooting death of a person in police custody in Texas from 2005 to 2017 found that more than one in six of these deaths (of 289 total) were attributed to “excited delirium.”[5] A January 2020 Florida Today report found that of 85 deaths attributed to “excited delirium” by Florida medical examiners since 2010, at least 62 percent involved the use of force by law enforcement.[6] A Berkeley professor of law and bioethics conducted a search of these two news databases and three others from 2010 to 2020 and found that of 166 reported deaths in police custody from possible “excited delirium,” Black people made up 43.3 percent and Black and Latinx people together made up at least 56 percent.[7]


PHR Endnotes:

[1] Interview with Robert Collins, Bella Quinto-Collins, and Cassandra Quinto-Collins, Oct. 29, 2021. See also, John L. Burris, Ayana C. Curry, Ben Nisenbaum, Dewitt M. Lacy, James A. Cook, Kenneth Chike Odiwe, and Tonia Robinson, Law Offices of John L. Burris, “RE: Request for Endorsed Copy Verifying Administrative Claim Received – Law Offices of John L. Burris,” Feb. 18, 2021,; Jacey Fortin, “California Man Died after Police Knelt on Him for 5 Minutes, Family Says,” New York Times, Feb. 25, 2021,; Claire Wang, “The Filipino American Family behind Calif.’s New Police Reform Laws Speaks Out,” NBC News, Oct. 15, 2021,

[2] Nate Gartrell and Rick Hurd, “Death of Angelo Quinto, Navy Vet Who Died after Struggle with Antioch Cops, Blamed on ‘Excited Delirium,’” The Mercury News, Aug. 20, 2021,

[3] Stacia Glenn, “‘Can’t breathe’: Tacoma police restraint of Manuel Ellis caused his death, medical examiner reports,” Seattle Times, Jun. 3, 2020,; “Family rallies for man killed in 2017 Omaha police struggle,” Associated Press, Jun. 6, 2021,; Anica Padilla, “‘Excited Delirium’: Elijah McClain’s Mother Talks To ’60 Minutes’ About Use Of Ketamine To Sedate Suspects,” CBS Denver, Dec. 14, 2020; Justin Jouvenal, “‘Excited delirium’ cited in dozens of deaths in police custody. Is it real or a cover for brutality?” Washington Post, May 6, 2015,; Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw and Andrea J. Ritchie, Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Among Black Women (New York: African American Policy Forum, 2015); Lisette Voytko, “Daniel Prude’s Autopsy Report Says ‘Excited Delirium,’ A Controversial Diagnosis, Contributed To His Death,” Forbes, Dec. 3, 2020,

[4] Alysia Santo, “As George Floyd Died, Officer Wondered About ‘Excited Delirium,’” The Marshall Project, Jun. 4, 2020,; Steve Karnowski, “EXPLAINER: Why ‘excited delirium’ came up at Chauvin trial?” Associated Press, Apr. 19, 2021,; Ja’han Jones, “3 ex-cops charged in George Floyd’s death try to blame ‘excited delirium’ as the cause,” MSNBC, Jan. 28, 2022,

[5] Eric Dexheimer and Jeremy Schwartz, “In fatal struggles with police, a controversial killer is often blamed,” Austin-American Statesman, May 27, 2017,

[6] Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, “Excited delirium: Rare and deadly syndrome or a condition to excuse deaths by police?” Florida Today, Oct. 24, 2019,

[7] Osagie K. Obasogie, “Excited Delirium and Police Use of Force,” Virginia Law Review vol. 107, no. 8 (Dec. 2021),