New bodycam footage shows California cops kneeling on the back of a gasping 26 year-old father whose family say died in the same way as George Floyd.
Mario Gonzalez died on April 19 after Alameda police officers tried to restrain him while responding to multiple police calls.
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.
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,’ the outlet reported.
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.’
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Mario Gonzalez, 26, died on April 19 after Alameda police officers tried to restrain him while responding to multiple police calls
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 were seen struggling with Gonzalez on the ground while placing the weight of their knees on his back
Gonzalez can be heard gasping for air while making retching sounds during the video
Officers later decided to flip him onto his side after realizing he had gone ‘unresponsive’
Officers then tried lifesaving procedures including CPR before he was rushed to a local hospital after it was noted he had no pulse
Three officers have been put on paid leave while the sheriff’s office and district attorney investigate the incident, officials said.
Gonzalez’s mother Edith Gonzalez said that her son leaves behind his own 4-year-old son, KNTV reported.
‘My grandson, right here, he asked me, ‘Mami, mami, my papi passed away? My papi died? My papi died?” Edith Gonzalez said at the press conference.
‘How can I say that? Somebody kill him?’
In one of the 911 calls, a man who lives in the home near where Gonzalez died told dispatchers he had been ‘talking to himself.’
‘There’s a man in my front yard kind to talking to himself, no mask. I went out there and the dog is barking at him and I went out there and he’s not making any sense and I don’t know what to do,’ the caller said.
‘It seems like he’s tweaking but he’s not doing anything wrong, he’s just scaring my wife.’
In a second call, another caller reported: ‘There’s a man at the park with two Walgreens baskets with some alcohol bottles that it looks like he’s breaking the security tags off of.’
The second caller said that the man had been ‘loitering around.’
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 try to push for more information from him.
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.
Gonzalez leaves behind a 4-year-old son after he died in police custody in Alameda, California
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’
When Officer McKinley tells Gonzalez he is ‘worried about this open container’ of alcohol, Gonzalez tries screwing the cap back on to the bottle in the shopping basket. Another officer then shows up to the scene.
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.’
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.’
‘I didn’t do it! I didn’t do it!’ Gonzales gasps.
It appears as if the officer finally removed his knee from Gonzalez’ back after several minutes. Gonzalez makes retching sounds as 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.’
‘On the morning of April 19th, Alameda Police killed our beloved Mario. Mario was only 26-year-old when they killed him. He leaves behind four-year-old little Mario who will now grow up without his father in his life,’ the GoFundMe reads.
‘Mario was also a caring big brother to Efrain and Jerry. Mario was the principal caretaker of his mom and Efrain who has autism. He had his whole life ahead of him and they robbed him from his family and community.’
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.’