A man in Northern California has died after police officers kneeled on the back of his neck for five minutes in an effort to subdue a mental episode. Filipino immigrant Angelo Quinto, 30, was going through a bout of anxiety, paranoia and depression for several months leading up to Dec. 23 when his family called the police for assistance.

The man’s sister, Isabella Collins lodged the 911 call as she feared Quinto would end up hurting their mother. According to Collins, her mother had been holding Quinto to her chest with her hands clasped around his back as he was starting to calm down before responding officers from the Antioch Police Department arrived. 

The family’s lawyer, John L. Burris said in a press conference, the officers made no attempt to assess and understand the situation but instead grabbed Quinto from his mother’s arms.

"These Antioch police officers had already handcuffed Angelo but did not stop their assault on the young man and inexplicably began using the 'George Floyd' technique of placing a knee on the back and side of his neck, ignoring Mr. Quinto pleas of 'please don't kill me,'" Burris said.

By then, Quinto had lost consciousness and was taken to a local hospital where he died three days later without regaining consciousness. 

The Contra Costa County Sheriff Coroner's office told CNN on Monday that Quinto’s cause of death has not yet been determined and remains under investigation by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office.

The victim’s mother, Maria Quinto-Collins, had used her mobile phone to record part of the incident. In the recorded footage, Quinto is seen no longer responsive and laying on his front. The officers rolled him over to carry his body out while he was bleeding from the mouth. He was moved to a gurney where the paramedics could administer chest compressions. 

It was not clear from the video if the officers were wearing body cameras but Burris said : 

"As far as we know, they were not.”

Since Quinto's death, the Antioch Police Department has not issued a press release on the incident.

Quinto’s family has claimed charges of wrongful death which they filed on February 18. They blame an illegal chokehold used by officers which led to asphyxiation as the cause of his death.

The family along with many supporters rallied on Thursday for more humane treatment of people in mental distress, as well as a ban in using the controversial chokehold.

Quinto’s grief-stricken sister remains conflicted with her decision in placing the 911 call. She said she called the police in hopes they would help de-escalate the situation.

"I don't think I will ever not feel bad," she told CNN affiliate KGO. 

"If it was the right thing to do, it wouldn't have killed my brother."

Police Car Image Creative Commons