United States navy veteran Angelo Quinto was severely injured at his home in Antioch, northern California, after a police officer sent to aid him knelt on his neck for almost five minutes, leading to his eventual death three days later, according to his family.
Quinto, born in the Philippines, had long been struggling with depression. Last year, he began to experience episodes of anxiety and paranoia after an apparent assault incident that landed him in the hospital. On Dec. 23, Quinto had a mental health emergency and was difficult to calm down.
Fearing for their mother’s safety, his sister Bella Collins, called 911.
According to the family, by the time dispatched officers arrived, Quinto was already calm in his mother’s arms. But trusting that the police would be able to help further, they let the officers take him, only to watch in horror as they handcuffed him, put him down on the floor with one officer restraining his legs, and the other placing his knee on the back of his head for almost five minutes.
Quinto’s mother had taken a video of the incident, showing her son’s bloodied face from being handled by the officers. After he appeared to stop breathing, he was taken to a nearby hospital, where died three days later.
The Antioch Police Department has yet to release any public statements or information regarding the incident over two months ago, only officially announcing Quinto’s death on January 25, after the East Bay Times made inquiries.
This has led to the family of Quinto initiating their own private investigation, and recently, a legal claim against the Antioch Police Department.
John Burris, the family’s lawyer, cited certain issues with police response during the incident, besides the excessive force, such as no attempt to diffuse and de-escalate, and body cameras turned off.
Burris also talked about how Quinto’s case was eerily similar to the tragic death of George Floyd, an African American male who died on May 25, when a police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes.
Quinto was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2019 for food allergies, his sister mentioned in an interview. She also expressed regret for having ever called the police.
Photo: Inquirer USA