ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) — There are now five separate investigations into what happened when Mario Gonzalez died after Alameda police officers pinned him to the ground for more than five minutes.
Gonzalez’s family has hired an attorney to investigate. The attorney representing the three officers involved is also investigating.
The City of Alameda has hired an outside agency to investigate.
In addition, the Alameda County District Attorney and the Alameda Sheriff’s Office have also launched separate investigations.
The toxicology report will take at least two more months, so it may be some time before the cause of death is officially determined.
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However, the family of 26-year-old Mario Gonzalez accused police Wednesday of using excessive force and escalating what should have been a minor encounter with the unarmed man.
Gonzalez stopped breathing following a video-recorded scuffle with police April 19 at a park, where officers had confronted him after receiving 911 calls that said he appeared disoriented or drunk.
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.”
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.
Multiple use-of-force training experts who viewed the video at the request of The Associated Press agreed that the officers shouldn’t have escalated the confrontation, but said their fatal mistake was not immediately taking action once Gonzalez had trouble breathing.
“He wasn’t resisting; he was just trying to breathe,” said Timothy T. Williams Jr., an expert who spent nearly 30 years with the Los Angeles Police Department.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.