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City officials released the troubling body camera footage of police fatally restraining a 26-year-old unarmed man in Alameda, California last week.
The recording, which spans nearly an hour, shows police questioning the Oakland man in a park. He appears possibly confused and disoriented. The encounter escalated after police requested Gonzalez’s identification, as well as his name and birthdate.
“Hey sir, we don’t want to waste your time, we just want to make sure you’re okay,” one policeman told Gonzalez, according to body camera footage of the incident reviewed by Oxygen.com.
Officers later searched Gonzalez and physically escorted him out of the park. At one point, Gonzalez appears to yank away from officers.
“Mario, please don’t resist us, okay?” an officer tells him.
Gonzalez was ultimately taken to the ground as at least two officers wrestled to restrain him.
“Just keep him pinned down,” an officer says.
Gonzalez violently thrashed around on a bed of wood chips, his screams becoming increasingly muffled, while officers tried to subdue him.
“He’s lifting my whole body weight up,” an officer said during the scuffle.
“We’re going to take care of you, OK, we’re going to take care of you,” one officer says, adding, “I think you just had too much to drink today, OK? That’s all.”
As officers begged Gonzalez to “stop fighting,” he slipped into unconsciousness.
“Do you got a pulse?” an officer asked.
Officers later weighed whether to roll Gonzalez on his side.
“I don’t want to lose what I got, man,” one officer said in response.
Police later unsuccessfully administered emergency life-saving measures on Gonzalez, who is seen motionless at the foot of a residential driveway.
“He’s going unresponsive,” police stated in the body camera footage.
Authorities maintained Gonzalez was having a “medical emergency” at the time officers made contact with him. No weapons were used by police in the altercation, according to officials.
An autopsy is pending in Gonzalez’s cause of death.
Three Alameda police officers have been placed on paid leave until further notice, officials confirmed with Oxygen.com on Tuesday.
“The City of Alameda is committed to full transparency and accountability in the aftermath of Mr. Gonzalez’s death,” it said in a statement.
Gonzalez’s family, however, insisted officers needlessly escalated the encounter and were solely responsible for the 26-year-old’s death.
“The police killed my brother in the same manner they killed George Floyd,” his brother, Gerardo Gonzalez told the Associated Press.
Gonzalez’s family described him as a “respectful” and “lovely guy.” He was the primary caretaker for his 22-year-old brother who has autism, they said. He was also a father to a 4-year-old boy.
“They broke my family for no reason," his mother, Edith Arenales said.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and a special prosecutor are investigating the incident.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office declined to immediately comment on the case when contacted on Tuesday.
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