Alameda, CA – Police released bodycam video on Tuesday of Alameda police officers struggling to arrest Mario Gonzalez when the 26 year old suddenly lost consciousness and died (video below).
The incident occurred at about 10:45 a.m. on April 19 when officers responded to multiple reports about a drunk man involved in a possible theft in the 800-block of Oak Street, KNTV reported.
When officers tried to detain the suspect – later identified as Gonzalez – at the park, he resisted arrest.
“Preliminary information indicates that after the officers made contact with him, there was a scuffle as officers attempted to place his hands behind his back,” the Alameda Police Department (APD) said in a statement, according to KNTV. “Officers did not use any weapons during the scuffle with Mr. Gonzalez.”
The incident occurred the day before a Hennepin County jury found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of George Floyd’s murder.
Police released bodycam video from two officers’ cameras on April 27 that showed how the incident unfolded from start to finish, KNTV reported.
“Everything we saw in that video was unnecessary and unprofessional,” Gonzalez’s brother, Gerardo Gonzalez, told reporters at a news conference after the video was released. “The police killed my brother in the same manner that they killed George Floyd.”
Bodycam video showed Gonzalez appeared to be under the influence of something as officers attempted to question him.
Officers talked with Gonzalez for 11 minutes before they gently led him away from some stumps that might have tripped him and tried to put him in handcuffs.
Bodycam video showed Gonzalez refused to put his hands behind his back.
“Don’t do it. Don’t do it,” the suspect muttered, seemingly to himself, in the video.
“Hey Mario, can you please put your hands behind and stop resisting?” the officer asked calmly.
“Oh! No wonder, there, I got it. Ay yay yay,” Gonzalez told the officer, making absolutely no sense.
“What do you have?” one of the officers asked.
“Sorry. No, it’s not that, it wasn’t that,” Gonzalez replied in the video before he began resisting arrest more violently.
Bodycam showed it took both officers to take the big man to the ground.
The officers tried to get Gonzalez’s name and birthdate while he was on the ground.
“We’re going to take care of you, OK, we’re going to take care of you,” an officer told him in the video. “I think you just had too much to drink today, OK? That’s all.”
But bodycam video showed that Gonzalez never became cooperative and continued to struggle against being handcuffed.
“Mario, just please stop fighting us,” one of the officers pleaded in the video.
“He’s lifting my whole body weight up,” an officer said at one point.
“I didn’t do nothing, OK?” Gonzalez told the officers as he struggled.
That went on for more than five minutes before he stopped fighting, KPIX reported.
“Think we can roll him on his side?” one of the officers asked.
“I don’t want to lose what I got, man,” his partner responded.
The first officer confirmed “we got no weight on his chest?”
“No! No weight… no weight,” the other officer replied.
A moment later the video showed that Gonzalez appeared to lose consciousness and the officers reacted immediately.
Bodycam video showed they rolled him on his side.
“He’s going unresponsive,” an officer said.
An officer radioed for an ambulance as they rolled him onto his back.
Backup officers arrived and they checked Gonzalez’s pulse and immediately began to perform CPR, the video showed.
Gonzalez was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, KPIX reported.
“It ended horrifically,” Alameda Police Interim Chief Randy Fenn said. “We don’t want anyone to die in contact with the police department.”
But Chief Fenn said the bodycam only showed part of the incident and said the police department was waiting for the autopsy results, KPIX reported.
The officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: