California Man Dies After Police Pinned Him to the Ground for Five Minutes

A man in Northern California died after police pinned him to the ground for over five minutes during an arrest, body camera footage showed.

Last April 27, police in the city of Alameda released the nearly hour-long footage from two body cameras, showing one officer putting his elbow and knee on the neck and shoulder of 26-year-old Mario Gonzalez, a resident from east Oakland.

Another officer appeared to put his knee on Gonzalez’s back, the footage also showed.

An initial statement from the police last April 19 said that officers responded to two separate reports of a male who appeared to be disoriented or drunk and was a theft suspect.

A “physical altercation ensued” during the arrest and Gonzalez “had a medical emergency,” the statement said.

Gonzalez was later pronounced dead in the hospital. The cause of his death has yet to be determined as autopsy is still pending.

However, Gonzalez’s family blamed the police for his death, saying that the incident should result in murder charges.

“The police killed my brother in the same manner that they killed George Floyd,” Gerardo Gonzalez said at a press conference last April 27.

Three officers involved in the arrest — James Fisher, Cameron Leahy, and Eric McKinley — have been placed on paid administrative leave as investigations are ongoing.

The city stated last April 23 that it has launched an independent investigation into Gonzalez’s death.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office are also conducting their own independent investigations.

The arrest and death of Gonzalez took place a day before a jury convicted former white Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for murdering Floyd by pinning him on the ground for over nine minutes.


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