Angelo Quinto “had suffered from anxiety, depression and paranoia for several months,” lawyers for his family said in a wrongful death claim filed on Feb. 18.
His sister Isabella Collins called the police at their home in Antioch, Calif., Dec. 23 because she feared he might hurt their mother, family attorney John L. Burris told a conference. release on February 18.
Before the police arrived, Quinto’s mother would hold him to her chest with her hands clasped around his back for a few minutes, and “he had already started to calm down,” the statement said. 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.
Quinto lost consciousness and was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead three days later, according to family lawyers in the complaint.
Quinto’s mother, Maria Quinto-Collins, used her cell phone to record part of the incident.
“What happened?” She said breathlessly as Quinto didn’t move and was lying on his forehead. Officers roll him over to carry his body and his face is bloodied. He is transferred to a stretcher and paramedics administer chest compressions on Quinto while his mother records on his phone, asking questions.
It was not clear from the video whether the police were carrying body cameras.
“As far as we know, they weren’t,” Burris said last week.
In the nearly two months since Quinto’s death, police have not issued a press release on the incident. The Antioch Police Department and Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Division did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.
“These Antioch policemen had previously handcuffed Angelo but did not stop their assault on the young man and inexplicably started using the ‘George Floyd’ technique of placing one knee on his back and the side of his neck, ignoring Mr. Quinto’s requests to ‘please don’t kill me,’ Burris said.
Quinto’s cause of death is still pending, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office told CNN on Monday. His death is under investigation by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
Isabella Collins said she called the police in hopes they would help defuse the situation.
The Antioch city clerk and prosecutor’s office did not respond to requests for comment.