Watch CBS News

UPDATE: Mother of Mario Gonzalez Heartbroken Over Details of Son's Death at Hands of Alameda Police

ALAMEDA (BCN) -- The heart of Mario Gonzalez's mother breaks a little more each time she gets a new detail of the harm done by Alameda police officers to her son, she said in a statement Wednesday.

The statement follows an autopsy report released Friday by the city that ruled Gonzalez's death a homicide at the hands of police.

ALSO READ: More on Mario Gonzalez Police Custody Death

Gonzalez, 26, of Oakland, died April 19, as he was being restrained outside 802 Oak St. in Alameda. He allegedly appeared to be under the influence and police thought he may have been involved in a theft.

Police restrained him on the ground for several minutes and he went unconscious. Attempts were made to revive him, and he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"Mario was a kind and honorable man. He was a caretaker, and he never deserved such violence," his mother Edith Arenales said as part of her statement.

Attorneys for Gonzalez's mother said in a statement that Gonzalez was sitting peacefully in an Alameda park harming no one or himself before police showed up on April 19. Police detained him without cause, according to the law firm Pointer and Buelna.

Body camera footage from that day showed an officer asking Gonzalez for identification. The officer said police would have to take Gonzalez if he could not provide ID.

"The autopsy shows exactly what we have been saying, and what the video revealed months ago. My brother was wrongfully murdered by the Alameda Police Department," said Gerardo Gonzalez, Mario's brother.

"Our family demands that these officers be fired immediately and that District Attorney (Nancy) O'Malley bring criminal charges against all those involved in his murder," Gerardo Gonzalez said. "If the County is unwilling to bring justice, the State must intervene."

Attorneys for Mario Gonzalez's mother said the autopsy report, written by the Alameda County coroner, includes unrelated content to blame the victim. Words in the report like "resist" is subjective and conflicts with video showing Mario Gonzalez "disoriented and confused, but complying with officers," the attorneys said.

The attorneys argue that Mario Gonzalez was struggling to live while "the report describes his motions as "'violent.'"

"We will hire our own expert to review the autopsy content and to create their own independent report," said Adante Pointer, who is representing Mario Gonzalez's mother. "The City needs to do right by this family and assure the public that no other mother will lose her son to police misconduct."

Pointer did not immediately respond to a call to ask if he will be filing a lawsuit against the city, the Police Department or the officers involved.

The four police employees involved in Gonzalez's death are Officer James Fisher, hired by the city in 2010; officers Cameron Leahy and Eric McKinley, hired by the city in 2018; and parking enforcement employee Charlie Clemmens.

Police Chief Nishant Joshi said the officers involved in the altercation with Gonzalez are on administrative leave and their peace officer powers are suspended. That means the officers are prohibited from enforcing laws and are not authorized to carry a badge, police ID and a gun as an officer.

That's at least until an investigation is complete, and Joshi ensures the safety of the community, he said. Clemmens is not being scheduled for work, city spokeswoman Sarah Henry said.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.