Angelo Quinto: Man who told police 'please don't kill me' died after officer knelt on his neck, family says

February 25, 2021

The family of a young navy veteran who died after police were called to his home during a mental health episode say he died as a result of excessive force. 

An officer from Antioch Police allegedly placed his knee on the neck of 30-year-old Filipino-American Angelo Quinto while restraining him, according to a lawsuit filed against the city by Mr Quinto's family.

The family's lawyer compared the incident with the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in Minneapolis last year after officers placed a knee on his neck.

Mr Quinto's sister had called police on 23 December after noticing her brother was mentally distressed. He had been showing signs of anxiety, depression and paranoia in the months leading up to his death.

When officers arrived, Mr Quinto was being held on the floor by his mother and was beginning to calm down, the lawsuit said.

Two unidentified officers then took the young man from his mother's arms as he allegedly said "please don't kill me".

The lawsuit then claims the officers put Mr Quinto on his stomach as one placed his knee on the veteran's neck.

"At this point, Mr Quinto started bleeding from his mouth," the lawsuit said. "At no time while being restrained did Mr Quinto resist physically or verbally. After being restrained for almost five minutes, Mr Quinto became lifeless."

The 30-year-old's mother, Cassandra Quinto-Collins, began filming the incident when she realised something was wrong.

The footage has been shared online by the family's lawyer, John Burris, although does not show the alleged restraint as Ms Quinto-Collins had not starting filming at this point.

In the video, the officers have turned Mr Quinto over on to his side and there appears to be blood both on his face and on the floor. He does not appear to be conscious.

He is then moved on to a stretcher and paramedics begin chest compressions in the hallway.

Mr Quinto was later taken to a hospital but "never regained consciousness" and died three days later, the lawsuit said.

The family is alleging he died "as a direct consequence of the unreasonable force used against him".

"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," Ms Quinto-Collins told reporters last week.

"It was absolutely unnecessary what they did to him."

Lieutenant John Fortner of the Antioch Police Department told Mercury News last week a cause of death had not yet been determined.

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