The Killing of Angelo Quinto


The 30-year old Filipino-American man died after police knelt on his neck for 5 minutes, his family claims

By Mildred German

February 25, 2021 – Officers were called by the sister of Angelo Quinto on an evening of December 2020 in the hopes they would provide assistance to de-escalate a domestic situation. His sister became worried that her brother might hurt their mother, as he was hugging her and their mother tightly, reports say.

The police then arrived while the 30-year old Quinto, a Filipino-American man and a Navy veteran, was beginning to calm down. Quinto, who struggled with his mental health, was grabbed and pinned by the officers to the floor.

Quinto was begging the police, “Please don’t kill me.”

Quinto’s mother was able to record his son’s ordeal with her cellphone. While the police response in the evening of December 2020 turned fatal rather than a mental health wellness check, the family claims that officers used excessive force that led to his death.

The family claims that the police put a knee on the back of Quinto’s neck for almost five minutes, in which Quinto became unresponsive and had blood coming out his mouth before the paramedics arrived, the family shared.

The family of Angelo Quinto has filed a legal claim in which his family believes that Quinto died wrongfully at the hands of police and is suing the city of Antioch, California. The family is seeking accountability from police, and justice for the death of the healthy young man.

“This was a healthy person before, no physical problems,” John Burris, the family’s attorney said in a press conference last week.

Police brutality and mental distresses are growing issues facing the world today, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Precisely in the United States, the death of George Flloyd, a Black man who died after police put a knee on his neck, shed light on the police brutality in America. There were over 300 uprisings in 2020 in relation to the death of Flloyd, and ongoing white supremacy, and growing tensions in the U.S.A.

Months after Flloyd’s death, the killing of Quinto is another fatality involving police using the knee-to-neck technique, which also killed Flloyd. The killing of Quinto also highlighted the ongoing police brutality, in a critical time as the investigation against Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was involved in the fatal arrest of Flloyd, is ongoing.

The killing of Quinto not only resonates Flloyd’s death, but also exposes what happens when police are called for mental health crises. Quinto’s fatal end under the hands of police also resonates to the many abuse and fatalities involving police responding to mental distresses.

Particularly with overseas Filipinos, the killing of Quinto resonates to the January 5, 2021 killing of a 37-year old Filipino man in clear mental distress, who was shot by Vancouver Police in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO-BC) is investigating the incident.

Quinto was born in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. in middle school. He worked hard to achieve his dream of becoming a Navy. He was honorably discharged from the Navy due to a food allergy, and pursued a new career in video game design.

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