No charges for police who killed 26-year-old Latino father Mario Gonzalez

Almost exactly one year after police in Alameda, Calif., killed Mario Gonzalez, the district attorney announced that no charges would be brought against the officers involved.

In a report from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office sent to HuffPost on Thursday, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said “the evidence does not support criminal charges.”

On April 19, 2021, San Francisco Bay Area Police knelt on Gonzalez’s back for nearly four minutes, until he died. body camera images, broadcast later that month, after an outcry from his family, officers were shown approaching Gonzalez, who was alone in a park with liquor bottles nearby, after a neighbor called about an intoxicated person. Gonzalez spoke calmly with the officers for nearly nine minutes. Then the cops put Gonzalez’s hands behind his back and pinned him face down. At least one officer knelt on him until he stopped breathing and lost his pulse.

The prosecutor’s report describes the officers as “fighting against” Gonzalez. Even after he was handcuffed, lying face down with officers on top of him, the report described Gonzalez as having “continued to resist physically” because he moved his legs.

“After approximately three minutes and 39 seconds of Mr. Gonzalez being restrained while handcuffed, Mr. Gonzalez became unresponsive,” the report said.

Gonzalez’s family have long called on O’Malley to charge the three officers involved – Eric McKinley, James Fisher and Cameron Leahy – who have all been on paid administrative leave for a year. The Alameda Police Department did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

In a December report, the county coroner’s office said Gonzalez’s death was a homicide.

“These officers should be under jail time at this point,” family attorney Adante Pointer told HuffPost last week ahead of the district attorney’s report. He feared that the police would simply be put back to work.

For Gonzalez’s family, the past year without him has been “like a nightmare,” his mother, Edith Arenales, said last week.

Gonzalez was 26 when police killed him. His son, who is 5 years old and bears his father’s name, often asks where his father is when he comes home.

“How to explain that he does not come back. That they killed him? said Gonzalez’s mother.

People attend a rally for Mario Gonzalez outside the Alameda Police Department headquarters on May 3, 2021, in Alameda, California.

MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images via Getty Images

Gonzalez’s brother, 22-year-old Gerardo “Jerry” Gonzalez, said last week he hoped to see a “stricter accountability process for cops who kill people,” as well as policy changes to have alternatives to police responding to welfare calls. mental health checks and crises.

The family has filed two federal civil rights lawsuits — one in the name of Gonzalez’s mother, for the loss of her son, and another in the name of her son Mario, for the loss of his father.

Before he died, Gonzalez cared full-time for his 23-year-old autistic brother, Efrain. While their mother worked in a gas station cafe, Mario bathed Efrain, cooked him food, put gel in his hair. He would pick up his son from kindergarten and then cook both meals for them – they loved the eggs and the home fries.

“Mario was a beautiful person, very respectful, full of love,” his mother said, adding that he enjoyed watching movies and cooking for his son and brother.

“He didn’t deserve to die.”


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