Mario Gonzalez death: Attorney for Alameda officers shares their side

Bay Area

Warning: Video contains graphic images/language; viewer discretion advised

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) — For for the first time, we are hearing the officers’ side in the death of Mario Gonzalez.

This comes as we’re learning of five separate investigations into what happened.

Gonzalez’s family says the officers killed the 26 year old.

KRON4’s Terisa Estacio spoke with the attorney representing the three officers.

Reporter: “As the attorney representing the officers, did the officers murder Mario Gonzalez?”  

Attorney: “Absolutely not.”

Alison Berry Wilkinson represents James Fisher, Eric McKinley and Cameron Leahy — the three officers shown in body worn camera video who responded to the call of a mumbling and intoxicated individual early Monday morning on April 19.

That person now known as 26-year-old Mario Gonzalez.

Five investigations are now underway to determine what caused Gonzalez to die while he was in police custody.

Warning: Video contains graphic images/language; viewer discretion advised

“The body worn cameras reveal how hard the officers worked to try to calmly bring Mr. Gonzalez and guide him in a safe situation,” Wilkinson said. “They worked for three full minutes to detain him, they did not want to take him to the ground, but his strength, put him to the ground.”

Berry Wilkinson says Gonzalez was a large person for the officers to get into custody.

“He is estimated to be around 5-foot-5 and 300 pounds,” she said.

Gonzalez’s family has said Gonzalez had a knee to his back, and that caused him to stop breathing and die.

Berry Wilkinson says the video shows differently.

“They were concerned, they attempted to talk with him and then like a light switch he stopped breathing,” she said. “We don’t know if he went into cardiac arrest?”

Berry Wilkinson says all three officers are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the multiple investigations.

“They are heart broken, they went there to help Mr. Gonzalez,” Berry Wilkinson said.

Berry Wilkinson says it may be quite some time before the cause of death is known in this case. In the meantime, all of those investigations currently ongoing.  

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