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Report: Filipino-American Dies After Police Put Knee on His Neck

Family has filed a wrongful death claim.
IMAGE YouTube / John Burriss Law Offices
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The family of a Filipino-American man in California is claiming that police officers responding to an emergency call knelt on the man’s neck for five minutes until he died. 

According to multiple news reports, police from the city of Antioch near San Francisco arrived at the home of 30-year-old Angelo Quinto following a call from his sister Isabella two days before Christmas last year. Quinto, a Navy veteran who was born in the Philippines, was reportedly suffering from a mental health episode.

Quinto’s mother Cassandra Quinto-Collins said her son had calmed down by the time the officers arrived, but said they restrained him anyway.

“He said ‘Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me,’” Quinto-Collins said in an interview with TV news station KTVU. “I was there. I was watching them. I trusted them. I thought they know what they’re doing.”

Quinto-Collins shot a cellphone video showing her son lying on the floor with blood dripping from his mouth and his hands cuffed behind his back.

 

Paramedics soon arrived and brought Quinto the hospital, where he died a few days later. 

This week, Quinto-Collins filed a wrongful death claim against the Antioch Police Department, which has provided scant details about the incident. Nearly two months Quinto's death, the police reportedly has not provided any other information except to say that the investigation is still ongoing. The claim, which is the first step before suing a city or county in the US, seeks damages worth $25,000 (P1.2 million).

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A report in the Asian Journal said the Quinto family is seeking justice and changes to the police department.

“I want to bring him back, but if we can’t do that, we want justice in any way we can get it,” the Asian Journal quoted Quinto-Collins as saying. “We want a new number to call, someone who can help us with mental health crises and other related domestic incidents.”

The incident bears striking similarities to the high-profile case involving George Floyd last year, which sparked massive protests across the United States. Floyd died after a police officer in Minnesota knelt on his neck reportedly for more than nine minutes.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Quinto was honorably discharged from the US Navy for a food allergy in 2019.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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