Family of Antiochian man, Angelo Quinto, who died under police duress, seeks Attorney General’s review

OAKLAND, Calif. — Lawyers for the family of a San Francisco Bay Area Navy veteran who died while being detained by police are asking the attorney general’s office to reconsider the Contra Costa County prosecutor’s decision not to criminally indict the four officers involved in the December 2020 death.

The video featured is from a previous report.

District Attorney Diana Becton concluded that the Antioch police officers used reasonable force and engaged with Angelo Quinto in a “lawful and objectively reasonable” manner.

John Burris, attorney for the Quinto family, said Becton’s decision announced last week takes the officers’ account at face value and makes no attempt to resolve the differences.

MORE: Antioch PD says no unlawful strangulation used on Angelo Quinto after family sues for wrongful death

In a statement, the former civil rights attorney asked “how could it be reasonable to proceed with a prone restraint for at least five minutes of a person who has been handcuffed behind his back and has not resisted during the remainder of this contention”.

Angelo Quinto’s family called 911 on Dec. 23 for help calming him down during a bout of paranoia, the result of a street assault months earlier that left him with a traumatic brain injury. They said in their federal trial that officers placed a knee on Quinto’s neck – the way that killed George Floyd – and the cause of death was asphyxiation.

MORE: Bay Area family sues for wrongful death, claiming officers used controversial chokehold that killed 30-year-old man

In his statement, Becton said an officer placed a knee on Quinto’s shoulder to handcuff him while another officer held his legs.

“That’s the extent of the force the two officers used to restrain Quinto,” she said.

The Contra Costa County coroner’s office said the cause of death was “excited delirium syndrome,” a troubling medical diagnosis opposed by the American Medical Association and dismissed by other medical groups.

Lawmakers are calling for new methods in how law enforcement interacts with people in mental health crisis, citing the death of Quinto and others.

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