PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -The state medical examiner’s office has released the cause of death of a man who died in police custody in East Providence.

The office said Wednesday that Leonel Farias died in February of a condition known as excited delirium, due to chronic schizophrenia.

Farias died after falling unconscious when officers tried to arrest him after responding to a domestic dispute.

His relatives accused police of using exessive force. But East Providence Police Chief Hubert Paquette has denied that, saying Farias came at the officers with a knife and refused orders to drop it.

Excited delirium is defined as a condition in which the heart races wildly and then gives out. It’s a frequently cited cause of death when suspects die in police custody, but some doctors have said it’s being overdiagnosed.

AP-ES-07-02-08 1854EDT


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