(KRON) — There is no evidence of a criminal offense by Antioch Police officers in the 2020 death of Angelo Quinto, according to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, which issued a report and press release Friday. Quinto, a 30-year-old Navy veteran, died in December of 2020 after a struggle with Antioch PD officers.
Following his death, Quinto’s family and their attorneys claimed he was murdered by police after they called 911 for help. They maintain Quinto was in the midst of a mental health crisis at the time. They say officers put their knees on his neck.
Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks maintains that a knee was never placed on his neck.
Following the incident, community leaders, Quinto’s family and city leaders demanded an investigation. Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe was among those seeking answers, telling KRON4 the city would be “creating an independent oversight committee” back in June of 2021.
However, a Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incident (LEIFI) report released Friday included a legal analysis of the evidence in Quinto’s death. According to the Contra Costa County DA, “that analysis determined that Antioch Police officers engaged with Quinto in a manner that was lawful and objectively reasonable under the circumstances.”
The report also states that officers used “reasonable force” during their contact with Quinto. The DA’s press release states that the initial call was initiated from a 911 call from Quinto’s sister on Dec. 23, 2020. The report states she wanted help after her brother appeared erratic, physically aggressive and was harming his mother.
On the call, Quinto’s mother could be heard saying “I can’t breathe. Stop it,” in the background according to the DA’s release. Quinto’s sister told the operator that he was strangling his mother.
When officers arrived, Quinto’s sister was holding a hammer to protect herself from her brother, the release states. Upon entering the room, officers saw Quinto struggling with his mother and separated the two. The press release states that an officer kneeled and placed a knee on Quinto’s shoulder to handcuff him while another held onto his legs.
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“This was the extent of the force utilized by the two officers to restrain Quinto, and to prevent him from harming himself, family members, or the officers,” the release states.
When officers went out to get paperwork, they rolled Quinto over and noticed he was unconscious and that his face was purple in color. There was blood on the floor and his face. Life-saving measures were administered and he was transported to a hospital in Antioch. He died three days later.
An autopsy determined the cause of death as Excited Delirium Syndrome, a controversial term recently removed from use by BART police. A toxicology report also indicated he had caffeine, Levetriacetam and Modfinal in his system.
An independent autopsy commissioned by his family determined the cause of death as restraint asphyxiation.
“While there are conflicting medial opinions as to the cause of death,” the report states, “the accounts of what transpired in the bedroom are consistent among all witnesses in that no police officer applied pressure to Quinto’s neck.”