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Navy vet's family says police knelt on his neck during detainment, killing him. Police say that absolutely did not happen.
Image source: YouTube screenshot

Navy vet's family says police knelt on his neck during detainment, killing him. Police say that absolutely did not happen.

The family has filed a wrongful death claim against the California city

Angelo Quinto, a 30-year-old Navy veteran, died in December after Antioch, California, police responded to his home on a mental health crisis call. His family claims that he died just days after police pinned him down by his neck for several minutes during the call.

Police responded that none of the officers' use of force led to Quinto's death.

Quinto, who was born in the Philippines, was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2019 due to a food allergy.

(Content warning: Graphic video):

Video of Angelo Quinto Incidentwww.youtube.com

What are the details?

According to a Wednesday report from Vox, Antioch police denied that Quinto died as a result of police intervention.

In late December, Quinto's sister called emergency services, saying that her brother was acting erratically and suffering a mental health crisis.

Four local police officers responded to the scene and, according to the report, discovered Quinto's mother, Cassandra Quinto-Collins, holding her son on the floor.

"The officers asked Quinto-Collins to step aside so they could put handcuffs on [Quinto]," Vox reported. "Quinto-Collins said that moments later, she watched as an officer pinned her son's neck with a knee for nearly five minutes while another officer restrained his legs — a description that closely mirrors the police killing of George Floyd."

A viral video shows Quinto handcuffed and seemingly unconscious in his home with blood soaking his face. The video, which was reportedly filmed by family, did not capture any moments showing any officers kneeling on any portion of Quinto's body, and only begins when officers realize that Quinto is unresponsive.

Video shows first responders carrying Quinto out of the home. They transported him to a nearby hospital, where he died about three days later in the intensive care unit.

Much more to the story

The Antioch Police Department has said that the officer in question applied his knee only to a portion of Quinto's shoulder blade — and for just a few seconds.

During a Tuesday news conference, Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks said, "At no point did any officer use a knee or other body parts to gain leverage or apply pressure to Angelo's head, neck, or throat, which is outside of our policy and training."

After Quinto's death, his family filed a wrongful death claim against the city, alleging that its officers' use of force ultimately led to the Navy vet's death.

At the time, Isabella Collins, Quinto's sister, said, "I should not, nor should anyone else, ever have to regret calling the police when they are supposed to be the people that help you."

During a February news conference, Quinto's family said that he began showing signs of anxiety and paranoia following a head injury.

Vox reports, "They said they called the police that night hoping that the officers could help calm Quinto, who apparently was acting belligerently, but that they did not expect it to result in his death."

According to reports, Quinto's sister told 911 dispatchers that her brother was strangling their mother.

The family claims that Quinto — who reportedly had a history of drug use — ultimately died of asphyxiation, but the Antioch Police Department says that no pathologists found any evidence of strangulation or a crushed airway.

Toxicology testing is underway due to previous drug use.

In a Wednesday Instagram post, Quinto's family wrote, "The road to justice is not easy but we will continue to fight for justice for Angelo and justice for all. We have no doubt that the truth will prevail."

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