Demand for answers in the death of Angelo Quinto at Antioch police HQ rally

A rally was held Wednesday evening at Antioch police headquarters, demanding answers in the death of Angelo Quinto.

The same day, Quinto's family held a service at an Antioch cemetery, interring the young man's ashes.

Quinto, 30, lost consciousness in the family home on Dec. 23, 2020, as several Antioch officers restrained him during a mental health crisis.

He died at a local hospital, and his parents say they were prevented from seeing him there, and that police prohibited staff from talking to them about their son's condition.

They also complain that his bedroom was subsequently searched for hours, and many of his items never returned to them.

Six months later, they are convinced of a cover-up.

"There's no closure, not a single bit," said Angelo's sister Isabella Quinto-Collins.

"The one thing we didn't need was dead silence."

At the cemetery, and again on the steps of police headquarters, Angelo's mother wept over the son she remembers as sweet, who loved hugging and talking with her.

"I just miss him a lot and we will fight for justice," said Cassandra Quinto-Collins.

"It's not going to be easy but we will get there."

On the day police came, both mom and sister became alarmed about Angelo's behavior when he awoke from a nap and was unexplainedly agitated and paranoid.

They called for help but say the officers overreacted as Angelo was not armed or violent.

"The police initially said he was using force so they had to use force which is just not true, it's a total lie," said family attorney John Burris, speaking to KTVU at the cemetery.

A cell phone video recorded by his mother shows Angelo limp on the floor.

"Angelo you going to be calm? Angelo? Angelo ?" says one officer, turning over the lifeless man.

"Is he sleeping, is he okay? What's happening?" responds his alarmed mother.

His sister was present as well.

"The officers knelt on the back of his neck for four and a half minutes until he was completely unresponsive," says Isabella.

"In my dreams he is rotting and he doesn't know why and he's not resting in peace."

Antioch's Police chief has said his officers acted in accordance with their training, and pressed on Angelo's shoulders to control him, not an airway.

But the Quinto family has filed a claim, first step in a lawsuit, alleging police restraint caused Angelo's death.  

"This is a case where they literally came in and snatched this young man from his mother's bosom," said Burris.

Working with an independent pathologist, Burris says he has preliminary evidence on cause of death, and it supports the family's claim.

"Positional asphyxia is not new, we've been fighting this issue for more than 30 years," said Burris.

"It is known as a technique that should not be used because of a high percentage of death."

At the interment, the family vowed to keep pushing for answers, so they can find peace for themselves and their late son.  

"We're not going to stop, we're going to keep on fighting," said Cassandra.

"We have no results, no reports, cause of death still pending, undetermined, what's taking them so long?"

Added Angelo's stepfather, Robert Collins, "there's the loss of a son but also no closure because you can't get answers any human being would want in a situation like this, what we're asking is perfectly reasonable."

At the evening rally, Antioch's mayor agreed.

"Please believe me I go to sleep hearing the voice of Cassandra Quinto-Collins," said Mayor Lamar Thorpe, who is promising broad police reforms and the addition of body-worn cameras.

"We are going to get to a place where your police department is accountable to you, the people, and not just to themselves."