A Man Died After Cops Pinned Him Facedown for 5 Minutes

Elias Hubbard
April 29, 2021

The bodycam video, released late Tuesday, shows the struggle between Gonzalez, 26, and police in Alameda County last week. The next day, Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter for pinning Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man's neck in a case that touched off a national reckoning over racism and police brutality.

The initial press release from the Alameda Police said that officers attempted to detain Gonzalez, and a "physical altercation ensued".

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.

"Anyone with common sense will ask like how does someone with no preexisting chronic medical conditions suddenly have a medical emergency at the age of 26 and die, just out of the blue", Jerry Gonzalez said. According to the report, Gonzalez allegedly appeared to be under the influence and was a suspect in a possible theft.

Mario Gonzalez, 26, stopped breathing after an April 19 scuffle with police at a park in Alameda.

"The video showed that he died on the ground with his face on the floor with officers on top of him", said his brother, Jerry Gonzalez. Once he is there, Gonzalez looks like he's trying to get up and trying to get out of the officers' control, the video shows.

Officers then ask Gonzalez multiple times to put his arms behind his back so they can handcuff him.

"Wake up, wake up", one officer says repeatedly to Gonzalez.

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

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

The officers roll Gonzalez over and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but he was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

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?"

Police later unsuccessfully administered emergency life-saving measures on Gonzalez, who is seen motionless at the foot of a residential driveway.

The footage was released following a growing outcry from family members and residents in the city. One caller informed dispatch about "a man in my front yard talking to himself". He was the primary caretaker for his 22-year-old brother who has autism, they said.

"We need justice because we lost someone who was indispensable to our family", Gonzalez's mother told CBS station KPIX-TV last week. "Mario was a noble and decent man who didn't deserve to have his life ended in this way".

According to the family, Gonzalez was healthy and had no known medical conditions. One officer says he has no pulse, and they begin performing CPR. After several minutes of struggling on the ground, Gonzalez becomes unresponsive and police immediately begin attempting chest compressions. The policy states it can be used when a person is "violent or physically resisting". Mario was kind. He helped my mom take care of our brother.

In the almost hour-long video from two officers' body cameras, an officer was seen approaching Gonzalez at a park after police said they responded to two separate reports of a man who was believed to be intoxicated and suspected of theft. "There was no reason to detain him, let alone kill him. And it took a minuscule event and made it fatal".

The three officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave.

Gonzlez's death is under investigation by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, the county district attorney's office and a former San Francisco city attorney hired by the city to lead an independent probe, the statement said.

An autopsy is pending and the cause of death has not been determined. "The loss of Mr. Gonzalez is a bad tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones".

"The City of Alameda is committed to full transparency and accountability in the aftermath of Mr. Gonzalez's death", the city said in a statement Tuesday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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