Quinto was not in police custody when he died in the hospital three days later from “excited delirium and prescription drugs”
Antioch Police Officers Association, Mayor Pro Tem Barbanica respond; Thorpe does not
By Allen D. Payton
In a post on his official Facebook page on Thursday, Oct. 6, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe repeated the lies by the family of Angelo Quinto that he “was killed by Antioch Police” and that his was an “in custody death”. Both claims have been debunked by both the Contra Costa County Coroner and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, as well as former Police Chief Tammany Brooks.
Thorpe posted the glowing comments about himself by Quinto’s mother and stepfather, that include the false claims which read, “‘Mayor Lamar Thorpe has been a courageous leader, helping the city of Antioch overcome a history that has often failed many members of its highly diverse community.
Our son, Angelo Quinto, was killed by Antioch Police in December 2020, soon after Mayor Thorpe was elected. A second in custody death followed closely thereafter. Mayor Thorpe was instrumental in seeking and achieving meaningful reforms, including body cams and non-police mental health response teams, that led to better policing for the Antioch community in an expeditious manner.
As a result of Mayor Thorpe’s fearless leadership, the city of Antioch has reformed or is in the midst of reforming many critical areas. His fearlessness has often made him the target of attacks by members of the community who don’t understand the need or are afraid of the reforms that have been undertaken. He is a forward looking leader who will not be silenced, and is helping Antioch overcome a legacy of exclusion and division, and transform it into a city that lives by its motto, opportunity lives here.’
Cassandra Quinto-Collins and Robert Collins”
The other death they referred to, was of a man that occurred in February 2021 while he was in custody at a local hospital. He was under the influence of drugs, running into traffic on major city streets and attempted to break into a car with the driver inside and had to be tazed by police to subdue him. He was administered NARCAN and later died while still in-custody at a local hospital. (See related article)
March 2021 – Antioch Police Chief: No Knee to Neck, Quinto Died Not In Police Custody
Yet, during the press conference held about the case, in March 2021, then-Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks said Quinto died in the hospital three days after the incident while not in police custody. (See related article)
At that press conference which Thorpe both attended and spoke during, Brooks said there was no knee on Quinto’s neck by officers and he was not in custody at time of his Dec. 26 death. In addition, Brooks released the 9-11 calls from Quinto’s family to Antioch Police demonstrating the need for the officers’ response to protect the family from Quinto who was harming them. Officers arrived on the scene to find Quinto being actively restrained by his mother on a bedroom floor of the home, Brooks further shared.
In addition, he shared he had “been in contact with the Coroner’s Office and the following four points have been jointly approved by multiple pathologists related to their findings thus far:
- Although the decedent had injuries consistent with a struggle with his family and law enforcement, none of the injuries appeared to be fatal.
- There were no fractures of the skull, torso, or extremities.
- A full examination of the neck revealed there was no evidence of strangulation or crushed airway.
- They are currently expanding toxicology testing because they were aware of reported past drug use.”
August 2021 – County Coroner’s Inquest Jury: Quinto’s Death Was Accident Caused by “Excited Delirium and Prescription Drugs”
Then in August 2021, a Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner’s Inquest Jury, after hearing the testimony of witnesses, found that Quinto’s death was an accident. He “succumbed to excited delirium and prescription drugs during the physical altercation with officers, the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office ruled”. (See related article)
September 2022 – Contra Costa DA Report: Officers Acted In Lawful, Objectively Reasonable Manner
Finally, early last month, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office issued a 39-page, “Report of the Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incident In-Custody Death of Angelo Voithugo Quinto on December 24, 2020” in which they wrote, “…Antioch Police officers engaged with Quinto in a manner that was lawful and objectively reasonable under the circumstances…an internal examination showed no bone fractures or damage to Quinto’s larynx and trachea…” The report concluded that, “In applying the applicable law and the California District Attorney’s Uniform Crime Charging Standards to the present case, there is no evidence of a criminal offense committed by Officer Becerra, Officer Perkinson, Officer Hopwood, or Officer Shipilov. As such, no further action will be taken in this case.” (See related article)
Thorpe Refuses to Answer Questions, Now Limiting Comments on Official Facebook Page
Questions were sent to Thorpe Saturday morning, Oct. 8 asking, “do you not believe the findings from the office of your political ally, D.A. Diana Becton? Do you not recognize the negative impacts of what you’ve shared on the morale of Antioch Police Department personnel?
Are you not aware that officers who are leaving the department are claiming in their exit interviews that it’s partially and directly related to your attitude and that of your two council colleagues, Monica Wilson and Tamisha Torres-Walker, against them, other APD officers and the department as a whole?”
In addition, posts on his Facebook page show Thorpe only allows select individuals to post comments. Below each post the following sentence can be read: “Mayor Lamar A. Thorpe limited who can comment on this post.”
He was then asked, “Why have you limited comments on this and other posts on your official Facebook page? Are you afraid of reading comments by ang engaging with your constituents who you were elected to represent and serve? Do you not want to know what your constituents are thinking? Isn’t that being cowardly? Who are you allowing and not allowing to comment on the posts on that page? What is the criteria you are using for your selectivity?”
Antioch Police Officers Association Responds
Asked if he had a response to Thorpe’s post Sergeant Rick Hoffman, president of the Antioch Police Officers Association responded with the statement they issued to the Associated Press in September and posted on their Facebook page on Sept. 2nd:
“The death of Angelo Quinto was an unfortunate circumstance and the men and women of the Antioch Police Department continue to pray for the Quinto family. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office has cleared the Antioch Police Officers involved in this incident of any wrongdoing and we believe this is the correct decision.”
Mayor Pro Tem Barbanica Also Responds
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica also responded to Thorpe’s posting of the Quinto family’s comments, sharing the Sept. 2nd post on his own official Facebook page following the announcement by the DA’s office. He wrote, “I want to be very clear that the loss of any human life is tragic. This is not in any way meant to minimize that. This article speaks for itself and I believe that we should wait for investigations to be completed before making assumptions.
During this time, so many statements were made by members of the public and elected officials which led many people to believe there was wrongdoing before any formal investigation was complete. I want to point out, that I always understand the emotion and the sense of loss from family members, so this is in no way referring to their response or minimizing their grief. This is about people within our community and elected officials that should know better, that we should wait to find out the facts before jumping to conclusions.
Last year there were even statements published after being made by Assemblyman Gipson of So. CA. that there was an officer that did kneel on Mr. Quinto’s neck for five minutes, giving the appearance that this contributed to this death. This statement was made before any findings were made public.
On 9/3/21, I personally called and spoke with the Assemblyman about this, telling him that I disagreed with his public statement, especially before any findings had been published and that there was no evidence of this. I also brought to his attention at that time, the recent Coroner’s Inquest findings. During that conversation, he told me that he was going to personally call Chief Brooks and apologize for the premature statement and apologize to the APD. With Chief Brooks permission, I supplied the Assemblyman with the chief’s personal cell phone number.
On 9/13/21 I again reached out to him as that call had not yet happened, but he told me that he would be making the call. To my knowledge, that has yet to happen.”
Please check back later for any updates to this report.