SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Police Department addressed some concerns Monday night before the police review commission, among them the topic “excited delirium.”
It’s an agitated state that could make an offender violent and could ultimately be fatal, which is why the department is training its officers to hopefully save lives.
One incident happened earlier this year near a drug store on Alhambra Boulevard.
Investigators said 34-year-old Johnny Hernandez exhibited signs of excited delirium when he tried to run from police.
He was subdued with batons and a tasered; his mother claims officers almost killed him.
“It could’ve given him a heart attack and all of that was unnecessary. It was excessive, excessive force,” said Debbie Hernandez.
Sacramento Police addressed the issue of excited delirium to the police commission saying those who exhibit signs appear to have superhuman strength.
“All these non-lethal things used on these subjects that we are dealing with, they’re not feeling any pain,” said Deputy Chief Ken Bernard.
“We’ll see people who are beginning to disrobe, profusely sweating, acting erratically. These are kind of signs that we train our officers to look for,” added Detective Eddie Macaulay.
He said officers have been trained not just to see the signs, but how to react.
“To get that person in custody to get them to the medical attention that could potentially save their life,” he said.
The department says excited delirium is related to one in-custody death on average a year.
It causes the internal temperature of the body to rise well above 103 degrees at times, which then leads to cardiac arrest.
While it was never confirmed that Johnny suffered from excited delirium that day, Debbie Hernandez said her son did suffer brain damage and was hospitalized for three months. She believes officers should’ve known better.
“It breaks my heart. It really does. He’s going through it so bad,” she said.