On March 10, we celebrate what would’ve been the 31st birthday of Filipino American veteran, Angelo Quinto

On December 23, 2020, Antioch police officers responded to Angelo’s mental health crisis with excessive use of force. Angelo pleaded for his life and died at the hands of the Antioch Police Department (APD) through the carotid hold, the same knee-to-neck restraint used on George Floyd.

Angelo’s case is not an isolated event and highlights a broken healthcare system at the intersection of America’s deep-seated racist policing of Black communities and people of color.

The current system addresses symptoms rather than causes of disease and is not likely to significantly improve the health status of people who are in most need of such assistance. Alternative methods address the issue of power, and how inequalities embedded within these structures of power inversely affect health.The lack of access to affordable mental health services coupled with racial prejudice will continue to perpetuate an endless cycle of stigma and criminalization of our most marginalized communities if we do not address this immediately. Angelo needed support amid a mental health crisis and the system failed him.

His death along with countless victims of police killings could have been prevented if mental health resources were accessible and affordable to working class families. The Filipino-American Agenda (FAA) addresses the issues of Filipinos in the United States and offers immediate to long term solutions to create change and improve the welfare of Filipinos across the nation. Now more than ever, families are in need of social and mental health services as many face unemployment and psychological strains exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Angelo wanted to live and he deserved to be treated with compassion and dignity. Over 54,000 signatures have been collected to demand police accountability.

NAFCON, along with various organizations across the United States, formed the Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! Coalition in response to the murder of Angelo. Anchored in the Bay Area, the Coalition involves over 130 community based organizations committed to fighting for justice for Angelo Quinto and all victims of police brutality. This week, March 8 to March 14, is a national week of action and the Coalition invites members of the public to submit photos in support of the #JusticeforAngeloQuinto campaign to J4AQJ4All@gmail.com.