California advances bill banning police use of certain holds after Fil-Am Navy vet’s death 

Angelo Quinto | Photo courtesy Law Offices of John Burris

Measure heads to Newsom’s desk for signature 

CALIFORNIA is one step closer to banning law enforcement from strangulation restraint tactics that cause asphyxia under a measure headed to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Voting 50-15, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 490 or Angelo’s Law, authored by Chair of the Select Committee on Police Reform, Mike Gipson (D-Carson) on Thursday, September 10.

The bill is named after Filipino American Angelo Quinto, a 30-year-old Navy veteran, who died after a police officer allegedly knelt on his neck for almost five minutes, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.

“Last year, we witnessed the death of my API brother, Angelo Quinto, a Navy veteran, who was tragically killed by police as they knelt on his neck for nearly five minutes,” said Gipson. “The circumstances of Angelo Quinto’s death are a stark parallel to George Floyd’s, which both exposed loopholes in use-of-force policies.”

Angelo’s Law seeks to ban police restraints that cause “positional asphyxia,” a deadly condition that can occur when a person being restrained cannot get enough oxygen.

It also expands the measure of AB 1196, a bill that was also co-authored by Gipson and signed by Newsom in 2020 that bans police from using the same kinds of chokeholds that killed Black American George Floyd. AB 490 ensures that, in addition to chokeholds, officers are not continuing to use other types of techniques like the “knee to neck” restraint that actually led to the death of Floyd and Quinto.

“My bill still allows officers to protect themselves in life-threatening situations, but it does not allow them to cut off anyone’s airway,” said Gipson.

He added, “We need to make sure all methods of restraining someone do not turn unnecessarily deadly!”

AB 490 will create a uniform statewide policy on restraints that cause positional asphyxia to make sure these restraints are no longer used.

It was first introduced in the Assembly on Feb. 8 by Gipson and Fil-Am former Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda). (AJPress)

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