Another police-related fatality has recently gained national attention largely in part because it seems to reverberate the murder of George Floyd. As you may recall, Mr. Floyd was killed after a police officer kneeled on his neck, sparking national protests against police brutality and racism. The family of Angelo Quinto, the Asian American who died after a brief encounter with police, filed a lawsuit against the Antioch Police Department (APD). A spokesman for the APD told reporters that there is an ongoing investigation into the man’s death.
The Wrongful Death of Angelo Quinto
In 2019, Mr. Quito was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy. The 30-year-old man frequently suffered from paranoia and anxiety attacks. According to Cassandra Quinto-Collins, Mr. Quinto’s mother, she called the police to their Northern California home because her son was in the middle of a serious mental health crisis and needed help. Shortly after arriving, one of the responding police officers knelt on Angelo’s neck while the other handcuffed him. Ms. Quinto-Collins, was there watching the police and trusted they knew what they were doing. Meanwhile, Mr. Quinto pleaded with the officers, “Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me”. After nearly 5 minutes of the officer kneeling on the victim, he lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Unfortunately, Mr. Quinto never regained consciousness and died 3 days later at the hospital.
Proving Liability in Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death arises when another’s actions result in the victim’s passing. The legal definition is “an action for damages that arises when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act of another.” While a wrongful death is a civil claim, it is often compared to the criminal equivalent of involuntary manslaughter. In the case of Angelo Quinto, the family’s attorney must demonstrate that the police officer who knelt on the victim’s neck breached his legal duty. This can be accomplished by showing that the officer acted negligently or recklessly by failing to try to talk with the victim and de-escalate the situation. It is important to be able to demonstrate that a reasonably prudent officer would not have kneeled on a mentally unstable veteran’s neck. Also, the officer’s conduct must have been the proximate cause of Quinto’s death. The family’s attorney told reporters that “This was a healthy person before, no physical problems.” Although the police had their body cameras turned off during the incident, the mother’s video recording shows Mr. Quinto’s motionless body, handcuffed and with a bloodied face. The family is awaiting the results of an independent medical examiner’s autopsy of the body, which they believe will confirm asphyxiation.
Speak to an Elite Buffalo, New York Wrongful Death Attorney
Regrettably, far too many victims suffer fatalities because of law enforcement’s negligence or recklessness. The untimely death of a family member is truly a heartbreaking tragedy. For those who lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, although nothing can eliminate your loved one’s suffering or the pain caused by their premature demise, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. Wrongful death claims were designed to reduce financial burdens and provide families with a sense of justice by holding the responsible parties accountable. It is imperative to expose the wrongdoer’s bad behaviors and practices so that they will not be able to harm others. If you have suffered due to the wrongful death of a loved one, you need the best attorney in Western New York to be there for you every step of the way. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s battle-tested team of wrongful death attorneys offers complimentary lawsuit evaluations and consultations. We would be honored to speak to you about your possible claim. Our exceptional team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 716-839-3939, or by filling out the online consultation form. We are ready to fight for the compensation that you deserve!