Angelo Quinto’s family hoped the police could help control him during a nervous breakdown – but the Antioch officials who responded killed him within minutes.
The family of Angelo Quinto, a Navy veteran killed by Antioch police officers sitting on his neck, is suing the California city for damages.
According to NBC News, Quinto’s sister called the police on December 23 after discovering that her brother was showing signs of mental distress. For weeks, Quinto’s confidante had found the 30-year-old man’s behavior worrying – he appeared anxious, depressed and even paranoid.
The lawsuit, NBC adds, was brought by Angelo’s mother, Maria Quinto-Collins.
Speaking to the press, Quinto-Collins said she didn’t think twice about calling the police – she thought they were doing their job responsibly and helping her son.
“I trusted the police because I thought they knew what they were doing,” she said, noting that Angelo was “actually quite passive and visibly not dangerous or a threat”.
“It was absolutely unnecessary what they did to him.”
The lawsuit found that Quinto-Collins was holding her son to the ground when police arrived. At this point, Angelo began to calm down.
However, the responding officers quickly moved Quinto-Collins away. They grabbed Angelo, turned him on his stomach, and folded his legs behind them. All along the way, Quinto reportedly asked officers not to “kill” him.
Police car roof illuminated with blue light; Image from Pixabay via Pexels.com.
While Quinto was being restrained, one of the officers put his knee on the victim’s neck.
“At that point, Mr. Quinto began to bleed from his mouth,” the lawsuit said. “At no point in time when he was withheld did Mr. Quinto object, physically or verbally. After being held for almost five minutes, Mr. Quinto became lifeless. “
According to the New York Times, Quinto-Collins captured much of the incident on camera.
In her video, Quinto-Collins can be heard repeatedly and asks: “What happened?”
John Burris, a lawyer for the Quinto family, said Angelo’s mother and sister are still grieving for their loved one – and are still traumatized as a result.
“They thought they were calling the police for help,” Burris said.
While Burris indicated that the family are still waiting for the results of Quinto’s autopsy, he suggested that the cause of death is obvious.
“We firmly believe this is a suffocation case,” he said, drawing a comparison between Quinto’s protracted death and that of George Floyd, an African American who was killed by Minneapolis police that summer.
The death of Floyd, who was also killed by a police officer who knocked him in the neck, sparked national protests that lasted months.
“I call it the George Floyd technique, it stole his life and it can’t be a lawful technique,” Burris said. “We see not only violations of his civil rights, but also violations of the rights of his mother and sister who saw what happened to him.”
Speaking at a press conference, Burris said the police misconduct that led to Quinto’s death was clearly outrageous in its scope.
“This certainly falls into one of the most egregious cases one can have, not because the physical behavior was brutal, as we have done in cases where people have been unnecessarily shot or beaten to death,” Burris said last week. “This is a situation where it was more subtle.”
The California man died after police kneeled on him for 5 minutes, the family says
The California Navy veterinarian died after police kneeled on his neck in a mental health crisis
Navy veteran died after police kneeled on his neck for 5 minutes, family says