Antioch police were never held accountable for the killing of Angelo Quinto
On December 20, 2020, Angelo Quinto was having a mental health episode, and his family sought help by calling the Antioch police. The family was unaware of the history of police mishandling of such cases to the point where it is not uncommon for the eventual interaction between the patient and police to result in death.
Quinto, a Filipino American Navy veteran, died just days after police officers physically restrained him, ala George Floyd. Antioch police officers kneeled on the back of Quinto’s neck for four to five minutes while he was handcuffed. His mother said he pleaded, “Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me.” Quinto lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital, where he died days later, on December 23, 2020.
There are a variety of reasons why groups like Neighborhood Safety Companions advocate for allocating budgets for rebuilding of a viable mental health support infrastructure rather than calls for increased funding for already-over-funded police departments. Primarily, it is because we want to win actual help for families in these situations, not the murder of their loved ones.
The police were never held accountable for Angelo Quinto’s death. Regardless of his mental and emotional state at the time of their arrival to his home, Angelo was very much alive.
This is similar to what also happened in the case of Christian Hall in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately it is also something that has happened repeatedly to many Black people, such as Reginald Thomas Jr, and Ezell Ford. Police are not trained to handle mental health patient interactions. The culture that many police adhere to often leads them to kill people who do not behave according to their commands.
Beatrock Music event in support of Justice4Angelo Quinto!
While the police responsible for Angelo Quinto’s death were never brought to justice, the family’s fight for justice did help to push CA Governor Gavin Newsom to sign several police brutality reform bills, including the banning of carotid restraint, such as the confirmed-fatal knee-to-neck practice and choke holds like the one that killed Eric Garner.
Asian Americans and others opposed to police abuse and lack of accountability must continue pressing for major reforms in healthcare, particularly mental health services and intervention staffing so that families dealing with members with mental health crises have better alternatives than to call violent police officers for help. We have a three-headed crisis in both the lack of mental healthcare infrastructure, over-financing of violent police and lack of accountability for abuse of power.
Towards this goal, we have supported efforts to win subsets of reform against violent and deadly policing practices in California, but much work remains. Here are two reforms that the people’s movement won. Let’s hope we can continue to build enough power for these things to win accountability for adherence to these reforms.
AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act
AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act, sought to ban and criminalize all positional asphyxia to be used by police and law enforcement officers in California. Spearheaded by Assemblymember Mike Gipson, public pressure, including civil disobedience by 15 citizens lifting the names of Angelo Quinto, Sean Monterrosa and George Floyd, forced Governor Gavin Newsom to sign this bill into law on September 30, 2021.
SB 2 The Police Decertification Act of 2021
Senate Bill 2, The Police Decertification Act of 2021, authored by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) sought to increase accountability for misconduct by police officers when engaging in violent practices towards civilians, was signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 30, 2021.
- It will create a process for the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (“POST”) to revoke certifications for peace officers such that those individuals will be disqualified from peace officer employment in California;
- It expands the list of circumstances that will disqualify a person from employment as a peace officer;
- It will require law enforcement agencies to investigate all complaints or claims of serious misconduct by peace officers regardless of whether the subject officer(s) is still employed by the agency;
- It will require law enforcement agencies to report to POST all complaints, claims, allegations, and findings of serious misconduct;
- It will remove some immunity provisions for peace officers and their employing agencies in civil rights lawsuits brought under the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act.
These changes are outlined in further detail below. Some aspects of the law will take effect on January 1, 2022. Other provisions have a later effective date.
Read more here:
Justice for Angelo: A Symposium on Reimagining Policing & Accountability
May 25, 2021 – Families of police victims speak about the failures in the existing system. California leaders, including Senator Nancy Skinner, Assemblymembers Mike Gipson and Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, along with Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Seaside Police Chief and Police Chief Association President Abdul Pridgen share the next steps and efforts they’re making to reimagine and improve policing and accountability at the local and state levels. Thought leaders Judge Thelton Henderson and Chancellor’s Professor Troy Duster provide their insight and inspiration for transformation.