Police Body Cam Footage Released of In-Custody Death of Mario Gonzalez in Alameda

By Alexander Ramirez

ALAMEDA, CA – Police body-camera footage was released by the city of Alameda Wednesday of the encounter between Mario Gonzalez and the Alameda police on April 19 – the recording shows the arrest and subduing of Gonzalez before Gonzalez suddenly became unresponsive, and dies.

It is not clear what led to the confrontation between Gonzalez and the officers, but audio was also released alongside the video that describes a 911 call about a man drinking alcohol in the nearby park.

Police approach Gonzalez asking for identification, “so we could know who we’re talking to.”

The police continue to ask whether Gonzalez lives in Alameda, to which Gonzalez responds that he hasn’t got a house yet.

After Gonzalez starts to stand on a nearby stump saying, “There’s something here,” police grab each of Gonzalez’s arms and ask him to move away from the wooded area so he will not hurt himself.

At least 11 minutes of talking passes, before police start trying to put Gonzalez’s arms behind his back, with Gonzalez saying things like, “It’s not that,” and “Stop it, don’t do it.”

Oddly enough, at this point, Gonzalez smiles and says, “Oh no wonder! There I got it!”

Officers: “What do you have?”

Gonzalez: “Sorry. No, it’s not that. No, it wasn’t that.”

Gonzalez is then pushed to the ground by police onto a nearby bark-decorated lawn, with him grunting and saying, “stop,” the whole time.

While on the ground, you can see at least one officer putting weight on Gonzalez’s back, repeatedly telling him to put his hands behind his back.

The police officer continues to stay on Gonzalez’s back when you can hear one handcuff closing and the officer on Gonzalez’s back saying, “Mario, we need you to stop resisting us.”

One officer says to the other, with an officer still on Gonzalez’s back, “All right. What are we going to do? Just keep him pinned down and get the wrapper?”

“Yeah,” another officer answers.

The “wrapper” or “wrap” is likely a police tool.

However, it is at this point that both officers begin putting their weight onto Gonzalez’s back, with Gonzalez yelling painfully out loud, “There,” the whole time. He repeats this line as the officers continue to put their weight on him, with each line sounding more intense than the last.

This continues even while the officers ask Gonzalez things like his name and birthday, to which Gonzalez answers in the same pained tone.

More police officers arrive on the scene and Gonzalez continues to yell out in pain, eventually retching multiple times.

After the officers on Gonzalez’s back say lines like, “Mario, just please stop fighting us,” and “We have no weight on his chest,” they roll him over and see that Gonzalez suddenly went unresponsive.

Officers say his name multiple times with no response, and panic appears to set into them as they began checking Gonzalez for a pulse. When police could not find one, CPR was administered for four minutes before paramedics arrived and Gonzalez was taken to a hospital.

“He went from combative to non-responsive almost immediately. We started compressions when we checked on pulse,” said one officer.

Gonzalez is reported to have died on the scene before he was taken to the hospital.

Police brutality critics claims easy comparisons can be made to the George Floyd incident that occurred last May and this death can be added to the list of police violence-related deaths that have occurred just this year. Both of which have sparked an outrage in their respective communities.

Alexander Ramirez is a third-year Political Science major at the University of California, Davis. He hopes to hone his writing skills in preparation for the inevitable time of graduation.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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