A California family has filed a wrongful death claim against the Antioch Police Department, alleging their 30-year-old son died after officers kneeled on his neck for nearly five minutes.
According to CNN, the incident took place on Dec. 23, 2020, when Navy veteran Angelo Quinto began experiencing a mental health crisis at home. An attorney for the family says Quinto’s sister Isabella Collins called police because she was concerned that her brother, who had a history of anxiety, depression, and paranoia, would harm their mother. Law enforcement arrived at the residence shortly after and reportedly found Quinto in his mom’s arms. The family claims the responding officers didn’t attempt to understand the situation, and immediately grabbed Quinto and began restraining him on the ground.
During the encounter, Quinto lost consciousness and was then transferred to the hospital, where he died three days later.
“Police came and snatched him from his mom,” the family’s lawyer, John L. Burris, told reporters last week. “He said ‘please don’t kill me,’ and officers said ‘We’re not going to do that,’ and yet they did.”
Quinto’s mother, Maria Quinto-Collins, captured some of the incident on video, which was later shared online. The disturbing footage begins with Quinto on the ground unresponsive, as officers ask the family if he was on any kind of medication or had eaten that day. They then handcuffed the unresponsive Quinto, placed him on a stretcher, and began performing chest compressions. As pointed out by CNN, it’s unclear if the responding officers were wearing body cameras.
The Antioch Police Department has yet to address the incident in a press release. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office is investigating the death.
“These Antioch police officers had already handcuffed Angelo but did not stop their assault on the young man,” Burris said, as reported by CNN. “[They] inexplicably began using the ‘George Floyd’ technique of placing a knee on the back and side of his neck, ignoring Mr. Quinto pleas of ‘please don’t kill me.’”