Family demands answers after Oakland man dies in police custody

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) — A vigil took place in the East Bay Wednesday after the death of a man in police custody. 

His family and friends are demanding answers about what happened.

Mario Gonzalez died on Tuesday. He was in police custody at the time.

A group gathered on Wednesday near where he died. 

“We want answers,” Mario’s brother Jerry Gonzalez said.   

A photo shows Jerry Gonzalez and Mario Gonzalez with their younger autistic brother who Mario cared for.

The 26-year-old Oakland resident died while in police custody. And now, his family and others want answers.

There is an ongoing investigation, but Alameda police say they received a call Monday morning of a man who appeared to be under the influence and suspect in a possible theft. 

Police say when they arrived, they attempted to detain Gonzalez – but state a physical altercation happened and Gonzalez had a medical emergency.  

“He didn’t have any medical problems,” Jerry Gonzalez said. “He was never in trouble.”

Jerry Gonzalez says the family wants to talk with the Alameda Police Department and they want Mario Gonzalez’s body — but neither has happened.

“They want to take care and get him a funeral,” Linda Sanchez said. “The mother deserves that.”

Outside agencies now involved included the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and an outside agency to examine the case.

“My brother was a kind soul,” Jerry Gonzalez said.

The three officers involved in this case now on administration leave pending the investigation. The officers did have body cameras on and they have been handed over to the agencies involved.

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