Bodycam video shows moments leading to Mario Gonzalez’s death while in Alameda police custody

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) — The City of Alameda on Tuesday released body camera footage of a Bay Area man who died during an arrest while in Alameda police custody.

26-year-old Mario Arenales Gonzalez died while in the custody of three responding officers on the morning of April 19, 2021.

Officers received separate reports for a man under the influence and another possibly involved in a theft in the 800 block of Oak Street around 10:45 a.m.

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

A press release from the Alameda Police Department last week said he suffered a “medical emergency” during a “scuffle as officers attempted to place his hands behind his back.”

His autopsy results are still pending.

The Oakland man’s family privately watched the footage of the arrest and said it conflicts with what the police department said.

“The footage shows officers on top of Mario” while he was on the ground, his brother Gerardo Gonzalez said during a Tuesday press conference. “At no point was he violent or out of control.” He added that they want all the footage to be made public, not just the Body Worn Camera footage.  

The interim chief identified the officers as Eric McKinley, who has been on the force for three years, Cameron Leahy, who has been on the force for three years, and James Fisher, who has been on the force for 10 years.

The officers are on paid administrative leave, according to police.

Three separate investigations are ongoing into the death of Gonzalez.

Alameda’s interim police chief spoke with KRON4’s Terisa Estacio.

“First of all, our condolences go to the Gonzalez family. Nobody wants this. Nobody wants to have a young man lose their life, regardless, especially under these kinds of circumstances. Our appeal is to the community that we are doing our best to be open, transparent, and we want a good investigation. We want to know what happened. We want to be able to prevent this, if possible, from happening in the future. And we want to build that trust with our community.”

The City of Alameda has hired an outside investigator, while a criminal investigation is conducted by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and a third investigation is conducted by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

“The police killed my brother in the same manner they killed George Floyd,” Gerardo said.

Just one day after Gonzalez’s death, ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes.

A 2020 press release from the Minneapolis Police Department also described Floyd’s murder as a medical issue and specified that no weapons were used.

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