June 23, 2024


Equality opinion

Lawyer Says Police Did not Require To Arrest Person Who Died Right after Remaining Pinned To Ground : NPR

Julia Sherwin, law firm for the family of Mario Gonzalez, speaks about his dying in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday. Users of the Gonzalez family members believe law enforcement made use of extreme force when they tried to arrest him.

Josh Edelson/AP

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Josh Edelson/AP

Julia Sherwin, attorney for the family members of Mario Gonzalez, speaks about his demise in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday. Members of the Gonzalez family members feel law enforcement used extreme power when they attempted to arrest him.

Josh Edelson/AP

Alameda Police “mishandled” the arrest of 26-year-aged Mario Gonzalez previous 7 days and brought on his death, in accordance to the attorney symbolizing the man’s family members.

Gonzalez died April 19 soon after police pinned him to the ground for at least 5 minutes. The Alameda Law enforcement Office said Gonzalez endured a “health-related emergency” just after a scuffle with officers.

Julia Sherwin, the attorney representing Gonzalez’s family members, mentioned Gonzalez’s actions that day did not warrant legislation enforcement reaction from the begin.

“He’s unarmed. He’s just acquired a comb. He is been combing his hair and he is been loitering there for half an hour,” she informed NPR’s Eric Westervelt. “Why this essential a law enforcement reaction right at that moment is over and above me.”

Sherwin explained officers by no means instructed Gonzalez why he was underneath arrest just before they attempted to handcuff him.

Interim Alameda Law enforcement Main Randy Fenn said that in the body camera footage, Gonzalez “does not seem to be violent or abusive” right before officers shift to arrest him.

Fenn said it’s unclear whether or not officers applied justifiable action or excessive pressure. A few ongoing investigations will ascertain no matter whether the officers acted correctly.

Overall body digicam footage released Tuesday by Alameda Police get rid of extra light-weight on the functions right before, during and right after Gonzalez’s interaction with officers. All through the struggle with Gonzalez, officers can be found positioning arms and knees on his back again to continue to keep him restrained.

The names of the four concerned Alameda Law enforcement Section workers have been produced Wednesday. Officer James Fisher, was hired by the town in 2010, and officers Cameron Leahy and Eric McKinley, ended up employed in 2018. All three remain on paid out administrative go away. Civilian Parking Enforcement employee Charlie Clemmens was also concerned in the incident and is on leave.

Gonzalez’s spouse and children accused the officers of abnormal drive and claimed the police murdered Mario Gonzalez.

On the day of Gonzalez’s demise, callers complained to 911 dispatchers that he was standing on your own in a small park in a residential area and speaking to himself. He had what appears to be two bottles of alcohol, Sherwin stated.

When officers arrived, “they just absolutely mishandled the scenario,” she reported. Gonzalez appears impaired in the system digicam video clip.

But “he was really calm and his loved ones experiences that which is just how he was,” Sherwin reported. “He was a mellow, tranquil dude who did not ever develop into aggressive with individuals.”

Fenn said ongoing investigations into the occasions that day, the results of which he hopes will be released in just a couple months, should really reveal “What was the condition of head of the officers? What had been they intending to do?”

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Section and Alameda County District Attorney’s Office opened individual felony investigations. An unbiased investigation by Louise Renne, the former town lawyer for San Francisco who was hired by Alameda Metropolis Supervisor Eric Levitt, is also underway.

Sherwin claimed the household needs to see the autopsy and toxicology reports to understand any contributing variables to Gonzalez’s loss of life.

“But owning to manage these cases for two decades and seeking at the physique cam video clip,” she claimed, “I know that Mario died since he was proned out on the ground and had officers on major of him for 5 minutes.”