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Thread: Angelo Quinto (30) Killed by Antioch Police

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    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Angelo Quinto (30) Killed by Antioch Police

    A Navy veteran who was going through an episode of paranoia died after a Northern California police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, his family said Tuesday. The family of Angelo Quinto called police on December 23 because the 30-year-old was suffering a mental health crisis and needed help.

    His family says a responding officer knelt on Quinto's neck for nearly five minutes while another officer restrained his legs. Quinto lost consciousness and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died three days later.

    "He said 'Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me,' as they were putting him on the ground. They handcuffed him and one officer put his knee on the back of his neck the whole time I was in the room," said Quinto's mother, Cassandra Quinto-Collins.

    Quinto-Collins said she had been hugging her son and he was calm when officers arrived at their home in Antioch, 45 miles east of San Francisco.

    "I trusted the police because I thought they knew what they were doing but he was actually passive and visibly not dangerous or a threat so, it was absolutely unnecessary what they did to him," she said.

    A video recorded by Quinto-Collins shows her son listless, with a bloodied face and his hands cuffed behind his back. She said she began recording after seeing her son's eyes were rolled up in his head.

    The family filed a legal claim against the Antioch Police Department last week, which gives the department 45 days to respond. After that time has elapsed, the family will file a federal lawsuit, said John Burris, the Quintos' attorney.

    "I refer to it as the George Floyd technique, that's what snuffed the life out of him and that cannot be a lawful technique," Burris said. "We see not only violations of his civil rights but also violations against the rights of his mother and sister's, who saw what happened to him."

    Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee against Floyd's neck while he was handcuffed and saying he couldn't breathe.

    Burris said there were other issues with the officers' response, including how they didn't try to de-escalate and first talk to Quinto, and how they failed to turn on their body cameras and the camera in their patrol car.

    A cause of death has not been released by authorities and an independent autopsy is pending, Burris said.

    The Antioch Police Department didn't respond Tuesday to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

    The department didn't inform the public of Quinto's death until January 25 when it answered inquiries made by East Bay Times.

    After the legal claim was filed Thursday, Antioch Police Lt. Tarra Mendes told the newspaper that "the investigation is still ongoing. We want it to be completed. As soon as it is completed, we will be able to provide the public with more information."

    Quinto, who was born in the Philippines, was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2019 because of a food allergy, said his sister, Bella Collins.

    He suffered from depression most of his life, but his behavior changed after an apparent assault in early 2020, when he woke up in a hospital not remembering what had happened and with stitches and serious injuries. After that, he began having episodes of paranoia and anxiety, she said.

    Collins, 18, said she now regrets calling the police after worrying her brother, who before police arrived was tightly hugging her and their mom, could hurt their mother.

    "I asked the detectives if there another number I should have called, and they told me that there wasn't and that I did the right thing. But right now I can tell you that the right thing would not have killed my brother," she said.

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    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    When Maria Quinto-Collins started filming her son at her home in Antioch, Calif., on Dec. 23, he was already on the floor, unresponsive.

    In the footage, a pair of officers with the Antioch Police Department can be seen rolling the son, Angelo Quinto, from his stomach onto his side. Ms. Quinto-Collins can be heard asking, repeatedly, “What happened?”

    Mr. Quinto, 30, never regained consciousness; he died three days later. Last week, his family filed a wrongful-death claim against the city. It said that the two officers, who had responded to a call from Mr. Quinto’s sister, knelt on Mr. Quinto’s back for nearly five minutes to subdue him and that he had “died as a direct consequence of the unreasonable force used against him.”

    The claim, which seeks punitive damages, was filed on Feb. 18 against Antioch, which is in Contra Costa County, about 45 miles east of San Francisco. The city has 45 days to respond.

    Last week, The East Bay Times reported that the police had not publicly shared information about Mr. Quinto’s death until after the newspaper asked about the case late last month. Since then, the case has gained national attention — in part because it seemed to echo the killing of George Floyd, who died in May after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes, prompting nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

    John Burris, a lawyer for Mr. Quinto’s family, said Wednesday that Mr. Quinto’s mother and sister were traumatized and grieving and that they questioned the decision to invite the police to their home. “They thought that they were calling the police for help,” Mr. Burris said.

    He added that the family was awaiting the results of an autopsy from an independent medical examiner. “We feel pretty strongly that this is an asphyxiation case,” he said.

    The Antioch police did not respond to a request for comment. But at a news conference on Wednesday — which had been organized to share information about another man who had died in police custody early Wednesday morning — Tammany Brooks, the Police Department’s chief, said that the investigation into Mr. Quinto’s death was continuing.

    According to the wrongful-death claim, Mr. Quinto sometimes struggled with anxiety and depression, and he appeared to be experiencing paranoia on the night of Dec. 23. His sister, Isabella Collins, called the police, expressing fear to the dispatcher.

    When the officers arrived, Ms. Quinto-Collins had been holding her son in her arms to calm him down, the claim said. The officers pulled him away, and Mr. Quinto asked them not to kill him, according to the claim.

    Then, the claim said, he was held on the floor of his mother’s bedroom and handcuffed while the officers — first one, then the other — placed their lower legs against his neck to press him down. Smudges of blood appeared beneath Mr. Quinto’s face.

    “At no time while being restrained did Mr. Quinto resist physically or verbally,” the claim said. “After being restrained for almost five minutes, Mr. Quinto became lifeless.”

    It was around that time that his mother began filming. The footage shows emergency responders checking for signs of life — Ms. Quinto-Collins can be heard asking if her son has a pulse — and then administering chest compressions.

    The Contra Costa County coroner, who is part of the sheriff’s office, could not be reached on Wednesday but told CNN that the cause of death had yet to be released.

    The mayor of Antioch, Lamar Thorpe, said at a news conference on Monday that he had visited the Quinto family and offered his condolences. “I don’t know all of the details,” he said. “All of the details yet remain to be seen, as there is an active investigation by the D.A.’s office currently.”

    A spokesman for the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that the case was being investigated, as is protocol for every death involving law enforcement.
    Mr. Thorpe, who became the mayor in December after campaigning on calls for police reform, announced a list of reform measures on Monday. They include establishing a mental health crisis response team and requiring the use of body cameras, which are not currently in use in Antioch.

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