© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Antioch’s new mental health crisis team named for man who died in police custody

Seal of Antioch, California
Wikimedia Commons via Picryl.com
Seal of Antioch, California

In the past, mental health emergencies have always been handled by police, but this new team will now be the first to respond to non-violent, non-life-threatening 911 calls.

The team is named after Angelo Quinto, a 30-year-old Antioch resident and Filipino American Navy veteran who died after being restrained by police on Dec. 23, 2020.

Quinto was suffering from a mental health crisis when police arrived to his family's home nearly three years ago. Officers restrained him with force in a hold which has since been banned, while they waited for an ambulance.

But when paramedics arrived, Quinto was unresponsive. He died later that day at the hospital.

Though the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office declined to press charges following Quinto’s death, they and the FBI are now investigating the Antioch Police Department for a number of alleged civil rights violations.

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe said this incident prompted much of the city’s police reform efforts of the past few years, as well.

The city has organized the new mental health crisis team program with the Felton Institute, a Bay Area social services provider. They will track calls to connect those needing the crisis team to local services that can help.

The annual cost of this response team is estimated to be between $1.8 million and $2.2 million. And, various cities around the Bay Area are working on following suit.

Hanisha Harjani is in the KALW Summer Training Program and produces news stories for Crosscurrents