ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) – The family of Mario Gonzalez is speaking out against comments made by the attorney representing the Alameda police officers who were involved in the 26-year-old man’s in-custody death last week.
The family says the officers had no right to detain Mario. They add that the body camera footage released by the city of Alameda this week shows Gonzalez was not a threat.
Mario Gonzalez’s family says his death was the result of murder and that the Alameda police officers involved in his in-custody death last week should face criminal charges.
Their civil rights attorney Michael Haddad says it’s important all facts are known before he can definitively say mario was killed intentionally.
“I’m a lawyer, so I can’t just toss that word murder around easily. I know it’s a term of art, and so there is some investigation on still,” Haddad said.
Haddad says is convinced the officers share responsibility for Mario’s passing.
“Whether it’s voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter, or something higher — it’s not really for me to say, but I do think there should be some criminal consequences, in addition to the civil consequences,” Haddad said.
As Haddad explores a civil suit against the officers, he pushes back at the attorney representing them, who claims the officers worked hard to calmly end their encounter with Mario peacefully.
Haddad says the body camera video released shows a different story.
When the officers responded to 911 calls April 19th reporting a possibly intoxicated man loitering in a park on Oak Street and that he was possibly involved in a theft.
“There was no reason to touch him at all. And, officer McKinley spent a few minutes talking to him. During which time, he found out Mario was harmless, friendly and minding his own business. And, so the officers should have gone to the household that made the call and told them, ‘we’ve checked into the matter. You don’t have anything to be afraid of, and the man is not breaking any laws,’ and just left,” Haddad said.
Instead, Mario was wrestled to the ground and suffered what police call a medical emergency, as the officers applied pressure to his back.
While the officers remain on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations into Mario’s death.
His family is preparing funeral arrangements.