Three Officers Charged in Alameda for a 2021 In-Custody Death

Special to the Vanguard

Oakland, CA – At a press conference on Thursday, DA Pamela Price announced that involuntary manslaughter charges were filed against three City of Alameda Police Officers: Eric McKinley, James Fisher and Cameron Leahy.

On April 19, 2021, the three Alameda police officers responded to a call “involving a man behaving oddly in a public park on the 800 block of Oak Street. Subsequently, the officers learned that Mr. Gonzalez was a suspect in a shoplifting incident and attempted to detain him.”

Gonzalez later died at that scene.

According to the DA’s office, an initial autopsy attributed Gonzalez’s death to “toxic effects of methamphetamine” with “other significant conditions contributing to death,” and identified: “Physiological stress of altercation and restraint; Morbid obesity; Alcoholism.”

In 2021, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office opened an investigation into potential police misconduct by the three officers. That investigation, ending in 2022, cleared the officers of any criminal liability for his death.

However, a follow-up by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office’s (ACDAO) Public Accountability Unit re-opened the investigation.

A second autopsy attributed Mr. Gonzalez’s death to “a result of Restraint Asphyxiation.”

The DA’s office announced that on Thursday, the three officers were all charged with involuntary manslaughter.  If convicted they would face up to four years in prison.

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