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Antioch Settles Lawsuit for $7.5 Million After Veteran’s Death

— May 30, 2024

Veteran’s family receives $7.5 million after filing an excessive use of force case following his death.

The family of a Navy veteran in Antioch, California, has reached a $7.5 million settlement with the city following his death while in police custody in 2020. Angelo Quinto, a 30-year-old veteran who served honorably and was discharged in 2019, died three days after an encounter with police during a mental health crisis.

According to a lawsuit filed by the family, officers used excessive force when restraining Quinto. The family’s complaint alleges that one officer knelt on his neck for nearly five minutes while another restrained his legs. Quinto reportedly became unresponsive during the restraint and later died from his injuries while being treated at a hospital.

John Burris, one of the family’s attorneys, said in a statement that while no amount of money can compensate for Quinto’s death, “his family is to be commended for their unwavering commitment to improving the relationship between the community and Antioch police.”

Antioch Settles Lawsuit for $7.5 Million After Veteran's Death
Photo by Life Matters from Pexels

The incident, which occurred just months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, sparked outrage and calls for police reform. It reignited national conversations about police brutality and the need for better training in de-escalation tactics, particularly when dealing with individuals who are experiencing mental health crises.

“How we look at public safety is different than what did literally three or four years ago when we all thought public safety meant cops, cops, cops,” said Antioch Mayor Lamar Hernandez-Thorpe. “Not everything requires a police response.”

In response to the tragedy, Antioch implemented several key changes. Police officers were equipped with body cameras, a mental health crisis response team was established, and a police review commission was formed. These reforms aim to increase transparency and accountability within the Antioch Police Department.

Cassandra Quinto-Collins, Angelo’s mother, expressed gratitude for the city’s efforts but emphasized the ongoing struggle for accountability. “I thank you for what has been a courageous beginning to bring about transparency and accountability to the Antioch Police Department so that it may serve our diverse community with respect and mutual trust,” Quinto-Collins said.

Quinto, who immigrated from the Philippines, battled depression throughout his life. However, following a violent assault in early 2020, his family reported a significant shift in his behavior. He suffered memory loss after the attack and sustained serious injuries. Following the incident, Quinto reportedly experienced increased paranoia and anxiety. The family believes that this assault may have exacerbated his mental health struggles, ultimately contributing to the tragic events of December 2020.

This case also raises questions about the national trend of veterans having trouble reintegrating into civilian life. Angelo’s military service could have exposed him to additional stressors, potentially compounding his existing mental health challenges. Experts emphasize the need for better support systems for veterans returning home, including mental health resources and access to quality healthcare. The Quinto family tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the importance of addressing these issues on a national scale.


Family of California Navy veteran who died after officer knelt on his neck settles lawsuit for $7.5M

Family of man killed after police put knee to his neck sues

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