What we know of Mario Gonzalez's death, pinned down by police

29 Avril, 2021, 11:24 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Alameda police officers seen pinning Mario Gonzalez during an arrest

Gonzalez is heard in the video telling officers, "I didn't do nothing, OK?"

The incident happened a day before former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man's neck in a case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.

The Alameda Police Department said in its first news release that "officers attempted to detain the man, and a physical altercation ensued". He ends up dying in their custody, and police would say last week that he died of a "medical emergency" following a "scuffle" with officers. According to the report, Gonzalez allegedly appeared to be under the influence and was a suspect in a possible theft.

The April 19 footage, which was released on Tuesday, shows officers confronting Mario Gonzalez, 26, in the northern California city of Alameda. "It was brought by the officers on top of his head". He told Gonzalez he was coming to check on him, after 911 calls reported he was "not feeling so great".

"The medical emergency was because they were on his back while he was lying on the ground".

"He's going unresponsive", one officer says.

"We're going to take care of you, OK, we're going to take care of you", one officer said.

At one point, Gonzalez seems to say, "Please, don't do it".

Shortly before Gonzalez stops breathing, one officer asks the other, "Think we can roll him on his side?", but the other answers, "I don't want to lose what I got, man".

One officer also appears to put a knee on his back and leaves it there for about four minutes as Gonzalez gasps for air, saying "I didn't do nothing, OK?" Gonzalez eventually becomes unresponsive, and police roll him over and attempt life-saving measures before medics arrived.

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Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of SC and an expert on police use of force, said officers should have rolled Gonzalez over as soon as they could.

Gonzalez appeared incoherent and replied, "Merry-go-round?"

Gonzalez, who lived in Oakland, was the father of a 4-year-old and a caretaker of his 22-year-old brother Efrain, who has autism, his family said in a statement on GoFundMe.

Watching the bodycam footage was "re-traumatising and heartbreaking" and "reaffirmed our fight for justice for Mario", wrote Gerardo.

"Everything we saw in that video was unnecessary and unprofessional", brother Gerardo Gonzalez said, according to the local NBC affiliate TV station. "Mario was a noble and decent man who didn't deserve to have his life ended in this way". As the Chronicle reports, Gonzalez's family is demanding an investigation into the incident, and several are already underway.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Department and Alameda County District Attorney's Office opened separate criminal investigations.

The initial police statement did not identify Mario Gonzalez by name. The policy states it can be used when a person is "violent or physically resisting". He wouldn't hurt anyone. "The police killed my brother in the same manner that they killed George Floyd". "And it took a minuscule event and made it fatal".

Autopsy findings have not been released, but the family of 26-year-old Mario Gonzalez accused police Wednesday of using excessive force and escalating what should have been a minor encounter with the unarmed man.

Three Alameda police officers have been placed on paid leave until further notice, officials confirmed with Oxygen.com on Tuesday.

"The loss of Mr. Gonzalez is a bad tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones", Interim Police Chief Randy Fenn said.

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