The families of two men who died in Dallas County jails 18 months apart after being pepper-sprayed in violent encounters with guards say they want the guards and the county to be held accountable, reports the Dallas Morning News. Corey Bailey, 31, and Gregory Kitchen, 32, were both in good health at the time of their deaths, their families said. Both were restrained by several guards and pepper-sprayed after assaulting a jail nurse.
Bailey’s mother has filed a federal lawsuit against Dallas County and five guards, alleging they used excessive force in June 2008 and failed to get Bailey needed medical treatment. The cases may invoke a medical condition – “excited delirium” – often used by coroners as a cause of death for someone who dies suddenly after violent struggles with police in which restraint is used. In such cases, victims, often high on drugs, exhibit violent and psychotic behavior, requiring officers to restrain them. During the struggle, the victim’s body temperature surges like an engine overheating, and the victim’s heart stops beating. The American Medical Association does not recognize excited delirium as a condition, though the National Association of Medical Examiners does.