• Police's assistance was sought to help de-escalate the veteran's threatening behavior
  • The officers knelt on Quinto's neck and kept him restrained until he became unresponsive
  • Quinto died three days after he was taken to the hospital

The family of a Navy veteran, who died last year after a Northern California police officer pressed a knee to his neck, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Antioch, its police chief and four police officers.

Mother and sister of 30-year-old veteran Angelo Quinto filed a suit against the city of Antioch, Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks, officers James Perkinson, Arturo Becerra, Daniel Hopwood and Nicholas Shipilov. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

According to the suit, Quinto’s sister called police on Dec. 23, 2020, after she feared Quinto would attack their mother amid a mental health episode, reports New York Daily News.

The complaint said Quinto’s mother, Cassandra Quinto-Collins, was hugging her son, and he was calm when officers arrived at their home in Antioch. The officers pulled him away from his mother and pushed him down the ground on his stomach.

He was pinned to the ground as he cried, "Please, don’t kill me!" at least twice. His hands were handcuffed behind his back and his legs crossed behind him, according to the lawsuit.

Perkinson and Becerra then allegedly took turns kneeling on Quinto’s neck until Hopwood and Shipilov arrived, who continued restraining Quinto. At this point, Quinto was not fighting back.

After about five minutes of constant restraint, Quinto appeared to become totally unresponsive. He was then taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died three days later, the complaint read.

"Every day of our lives we live with guilt, no matter how much anyone ... tell(s) us that we did the right thing, that we did everything that we possibly could," Quinto's sister Bella Collins told Associated Press.

"It is very much like George Floyd and I hate to use that as an analogy, but the truth of the matter is, it was a lack of appreciation for what was going on,” said John Burris, the family’s attorney.

"We see not only violations of his civil rights but also violations against the rights of his mother and sister’s, who saw what happened to him," he added.

The attorney added that the officers never attempted to de-escalate the situation and instead jumped right to physical force.

Representational image Pixabay