Navy veteran died after police knelt on neck for nearly 5 minutes, family claims

Navy veteran died after police knelt on neck for nearly 5 minutes, family claims
The mother of 30-year-old Angelo Quinto says she called the police for help on Dec. 23, 2020, because her son was going through an episode of paranoia. (Source: KTVU/CBS News)

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KTVU/CBS News) - The family of a Navy Veteran says he died after they called police to help while he was going through a mental health crisis.

Angelo Quinto’s family filed a legal claim against the Antioch Police Department last week and held a news conference this week to talk about the case.

Quinto’s mother, Cassandra Quinto-Collins, says she called the police for help on Dec. 23, 2020, because her 30-year-old son was going through an episode of paranoia. When police arrived she says an officer knelt on Quinto’s neck for nearly five minutes and her son lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital where he died three days later.

“I was there, I was watching. I trusted them. I thought they knew what they were doing,” she said during the news conference. “They take him from me and put him down and he said, “Please don’t kill me, please don’t kill me.”

Her attorney, John Burris, says Angelo was dead within five minutes.

A video recorded by Quinto-Collins shows her son listless, with a bloodied face and his hands cuffed behind his back, CBS News reported. She said she began recording after seeing her son’s eyes were rolled up in his head.

Burris tells the Associated Press that that officers failed to turn on their body cameras and the camera in their patrol car. A cause of death has not been released by authorities and an independent autopsy is pending, Burris said.

The Antioch Police Department released the following statement:

“Once some additional portions of the investigation are completed [the Antioch Police Department] will be getting together with all the involved agencies to provide more information to the public.”

The family’s claim gives the department 45 days to respond. After those 45 days, the family’s attorney says they will file a federal lawsuit against the department.

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