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, lawyers for his family have said.
According to his family, Angelo Quinto, 30, had been “suffering from anxiety, depression, and paranoia for the previous few months,”
In a wrongful death claim, filed on February 18 but now made available to the public by his family’s attorneys, his sister Isabella Collins called police to their Antioch, California, home on December 23 because she feared he would hurt their mother.
Before police arrived, Quinto’s mother had been holding him to her chest with her hands clasped around his back for a few minutes, and “he had already started to calm down,” the claim stated.
When two officers from the Antioch Police Department arrived, Burris said they made no attempt to understand the situation and instead, immediately grabbed Quinto from his mother’s arms.
Navy veteran in mental health crisis died after police knelt on his neck for nearly five minutes, his family alleges
Quinto lost consciousness and was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead three days later, family attorneys say in the claim.
Maria Quinto-Collins, Quinto’s mother, used her cell phone to record part of the incident.
In the video the mum asked “What happened?,” as Quinto is seen not moving and laying on his front. Officers then roll him over to carry his body out, and his face was bloody.
He is then moved to a gurney and paramedics gave chest compressions on Quinto as his mother records on her phone, asking questions.
In the nearly two months since Quinto’s death, the Antioch Police Department and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Division have not made any press statement about the death.
“These Antioch police officers had already handcuffed Angelo but did not stop their assault on the young man and 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,'” Burris said.
Isabella Collins said she called police in hopes they would help de-escalate the situation.
“I don’t think I will ever not feel bad,” she told CNN affiliate KGO.
“If it was the right thing to do, it wouldn’t have killed my brother.”