But the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists warned last week against the use strong sedatives for agitation and questioned whether excited delirium exists. The widely contested medical term has varying definitions but is often associated with substance abuse and mental illness.
The anesthesiologists also said that they oppose the use of ketamine or other sedatives or hypnotics “for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.”
The Colorado health department last month announced a review of ketamine use by first responders, which fueled calls from advocacy groups for racial justice and police reform and raised additional concerns about the drug’s use during arrests.
An Associated Press analysis of policies and cases where ketamine was used during police encounters uncovered a lack of police training, conflicting medical standards and nonexistent protocols that resulted in hospitalizations and deaths.
At Monday's City Council meeting, a majority of members also voted to prohibit police from executing so-called no-knock search warrants and to require officers to announce themselves before entering homes or businesses when executing a warrant, the Sentinel reported.
Council member Angela Lawson said her proposal was inspired by the police slaying of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Taylor was fatally shot March 13 in her home by police executing a no-knock narcotics search warrant as part of a police operation targeting Taylor’s former boyfriend.
Nieberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
FILE - In this July 25, 2018, file photo, is a vial of ketamine, which is normally stored in a locked cabinet, in Chicago. A drug called ketamine that's injected as a sedative during arrests has drawn new scrutiny since a young Black man named Elijah McClain died in suburban Denver. An analysis by The Associated Press of policies on ketamine and cases where it was used nationwide uncovered a lack of police training, conflicting medical standards and nonexistent protocols that have resulted in hospitalizations and even deaths. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford, File)
Credit: Teresa Crawford
Credit: Teresa Crawford