Antioch police chief says no chokehold used in Quinto case

Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks on Tuesday said no chokehold was used in the high-profile case of Angelo Quinto, a 30-year-old Antioch man, who died in police custody back in December.

The man's family has filed a wrongful death claim against the department, alleging police killed their son by using an illegal chokehold when they placed a knee on his neck. 

At a news conference on Tuesday, Chief Brooks defended the officer, who restrained Quinto when he was having a mental health crisis, saying he only had his knee across Quinto's shoulder blade for a few seconds. 

Brooks said it's an approved technique taught at California police academies. 

"At no point did any officer use a knee or any other body part to gain leverage or apply pressure to Angelo's head, neck or throat, which is outside of our policy and training," said Brooks.

An attorney for Quinto's family said an independent autopsy shows that Quinto died of asphyxiation. Chief Brooks said information from the coroner's office indicates there was no evidence of strangulation or crushed airway.