Mario Gonzalez Alameda California man death: Bodycam video shows responding police trying to restrain man, with an officer’s knee on the man’s back before held man becomes unresponsive and is declared dead. Police culpability?
Newly released bodycam video shows California police kneeling on the back of a gasping 26 year-old Latino man for over five minutes before becoming unresponsive. Family members now say the relative died in the same way as black man, George Floyd.
Mario Gonzalez died on April 19 after Alameda police officers tried to restrain him while responding to multiple police calls about an intoxicated man.
Alameda police released the roughly hourlong video, which at one point showed an officer’s elbow on Gonzalez’s neck, and his knee placed on the Oakland man’s right shoulder. Occasionally, the knee shifted to the base of Gonzalez’s neck.
His brother Gerardo Gonzalez called police actions ‘unnecessary and unprofessional’ at a press conference on Tuesday, after officials released nearly an hour of 911 calls and body camera footage that shows officers responding, KNTV reported.
‘Everything we saw in that video was unnecessary and unprofessional. The police killed my brother in the same manner that they killed George Floyd,’ he said.
Family says Mario ‘suffered no medical conditions.’
Cops said that they were called to the 800 block of Oak Street around 10.45am that morning when a scuffle ensued and ‘Mario had a medical emergency’.
Officers attempted lifesaving procedures and Gonzalez was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead after body camera footage showed that he had lost his pulse at the scene.
Cops said that they do not know what caused his alleged ‘medical emergency’ and that the cause of his death remains unknown pending an autopsy.
The Gonzalez family said he was healthy and ‘suffered no medical conditions.’
A lawyer representing the Gonzalez family slammed an initial police report that said that ‘at that time, the man had a medical emergency,’ referring to Gonzalez.
Lawyer Julia Sherwin condemned the ‘medical emergency’ explanation from police as ‘misinformation’ and compared it to the police report after Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis last year, The New York Times reported.
Sherwin told the outlet that the Gonzalez’s family was also concerned ‘with why the police used force in the first place,’ the outlet reported.
‘Drunk guy in a park doesn’t equal a capital sentence.’
‘His death was completely avoidable and unnecessary,’ she said.
She added: ‘Drunk guy in a park doesn’t equal a capital sentence.’
Three officers have been put on paid leave while the sheriff’s office and district attorney investigate the incident, officials said.
Gonzalez leaves behind a 4-year-old son according to relatives.
The visual evidence shows Gonzalez is very disoriented and is not necessarily complying with the officers but he is also not actively fighting them, despite officers insisting that he is resisting them.
Following multiple 911 calls, body camera footage from an Officer McKinley shows him approaching Gonzalez, who had the two Walgreens baskets with him.
When asked by officers how he was feeling, Gonzalez said: ‘Well, I’m feeling alright I guess.’
Gonzalez is seen incoherently telling officers that ‘something happened,’ while officers vet for more information.
When cops ask him if he feels like hurting himself, he responds: ‘It’s not that.’
The officer calls dispatchers to have another officer investigate ‘any walkouts’ at the local Walgreens while Gonzalez continues to talk.
Eventually, McKinley appears to raise his voice telling Gonzalez he has to identify him and make sure he’s ‘not going to be drinking in any of our parks over here’ so cops could be on their ‘merry way.’
‘Merry-go-round?’ Gonzalez responds.
McKinley tells Gonzalez that if he cannot provide identification, officers would have to ‘take’ him.
Another officer then tries to convey to Gonzalez that they need his ID to include in their reports detailing who they spoke with while responding to the 911 calls.
When asked by that officer if Gonzalez lives in the city of Alameda, he responds: ‘I haven’t gotten a house yet.’
‘Stop resisting us, don’t fight us,’
Officers then tell Gonzalez to keep his hands out of his pockets while he appears to stand on tree stumps.
The two officers then grab his arms as one of them tells him, ‘Come over here, we don’t want you to fall down.’
Cops then put his arms behind his back and tell him to ‘just relax.’
‘No, I didn’t do nothing,’ Gonzalez says, while officers tell him not to resist.
‘Stop resisting us, don’t fight us,’ an officer says.
Gonzalez again responds: ‘I didn’t do nothing. Please stop.’
He is then taken to the ground as officers climb onto his back, putting pressure onto it with their knees, video shows.
Officers continue to struggle to get his arms behind his back while he lies facedown in the dirt. An officer continues to use his knee to keep Gonzalez down while cops try to arrest him.
Gonzalez gasps and wheezes several times throughout the video while one officer directs the other to ‘keep him pinned down.’
Justice for Mario Gonzalez ❤️🕯
The family still doesn’t know what happened to their loved one. Their demands: officers names, footage, independent investigation & independent autopsy. pic.twitter.com/aRpdxTZgdE
— Anti Police-Terror Project (@APTPaction) April 22, 2021
Family awaits autopsy as they demand investigation
‘I didn’t do it! I didn’t do it!’ Gonzales gasps.
Officers are heard talking soothingly to Gonzalez, asking him his name and his birthday, imploring the man to calm down.
After several minutes the officer removes his knee from Gonzalez’ back as he now makes retching sounds. At this point one of the officers asks the other if they can roll him onto his back.
‘I don’t want to lose what I got,’ the other officer responds.
One of the officers then says, ‘We have no weight on his chest’ after having struggled with him on the ground for nearly five minutes.
Officers finally push him onto his side as one of them tells dispatchers that ‘he has gone unresponsive.’
More officers then appear to arrive as one of them orders to ‘start CPR’ and note that he has ‘no pulse.’
A GoFundMe has since been started for the Gonzalez family who wrote on the fundraiser that ‘Our fight for justice remains re-affirmed after what we witnessed.’
The family is demanding that officials release the records and the names of the officers involved as as ‘thorough and unbiased criminal investigation into the murder of Mario Gonzalez.’
‘Mario was not a violent person. Mario was kind,’ the family wrote. ‘He helped my mom take care of our brother. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. Our family needs answers.’
As of Wednesday night, the fundraiser had raised $75,114 of a $120,000 USD goal.