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3 Police Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter Over 2021 Death Of Mario Gonzalez 

Nearly three years after the death of Mario Gonzalez in the Bay Area during an arrest, charges of involuntary manslaughter have been filed against Alameda Police Department officers. On April 19, 2021, Gonzalez, 26, died after police tried to detain him, a scene reminiscent of George Floyd's death. Initially, no charges were filed as the autopsy attributed Gonzalez's death to multiple factors, including drug toxicity and health issues.

"The police killed my brother, in the same manner they killed George Floyd," his brother Gerardo Gonzalez told reporters at the time.

In 2023, under District Attorney Pamela Price, the case was revisited, leading to new findings from a second autopsy indicating Gonzalez died from "restraint asphyxiation." This prompted the charges against officers Eric McKinley, James Fisher, and Cameron Leahy.

The arrest occurred when officers responded to reports of an intoxicated individual. Body camera footage showed a disoriented Gonzalez unable to comply with police requests, leading to physical restraint. Despite officers' reassurances during the altercation, Gonzalez was pinned down, becoming unresponsive, and later declared dead at the hospital.

Gonzalez's family has accused the police of causing his death in a manner similar to Floyd's. Meanwhile, an attorney representing the officers argued that their actions were justified, blaming Gonzalez's death on drug toxicity, not police misconduct. The officers involved are still active in their duties and will surrender in connection to the case. The family of Gonzalez settled with the city of Alameda for $11 million late last year.

The decision to revisit the case and pursue charges demonstrates a commitment to justice and holding police accountable for their actions. It's a reminder that no one is above the law, and police misconduct cannot be tolerated.

Link: LATimes


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