The Untold Story: Criminal InjusticeThe Untold Story: Criminal Injustice

Travon Unravels the Racist Roots of Excited Delirium

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In this episode, host Travon Free uncovers the racist roots of the debunked medical term “excited delirium.” A study from Maryland in 2017 found that excited delirium was referenced in 11 percent of cases where someone died in police custody. And when these cases go to court, the concept of excited delirium can be used to argue that the police did nothing wrong. How did TASER, a couple of doctors and a handful of so-called experts take a meaningless psychiatric term and get it picked up by police departments, medical professionals and courtrooms all over the country?

The Untold Story is a Lemonada Media original and is presented by Campaign Zero. This episode is produced by Nicolle Galteland with production help from Hannah Boomershine and Priscilla Alabi. Supervising producer is Kristen Lepore. Production intern is Jala Everett. Fact checking by Steve Crighton. Music, sound design and mixing by Hannis Brown. Engineering from Andrea Kristinsdottir. Executive producers are Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittels Wachs, DeRay Mckesson and Jay Ellis. You can find host Travon Free on Instagram and Twitter: @Travon. 


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  1. The Untold Story: Criminal Injustice

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The Untold Story: Criminal Injustice

On seasons 1 and 2, we took a deep look into policing and criminal justice in America. This season o 
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