The United States police have “murdered” another man of colour during arrest in Northern California.
Police in the city of Alameda released body camera video that shows officers pinning a man facedown to the ground for more than five minutes during an arrest last week that ended in his death.
Mario Gonzalez, 26, died on April 19, one day before Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted of murdering George Floyd by holding him to the ground with his knee for nine minutes, 29 seconds.
A police report said “a physical altercation ensued” when officers tried to detain Gonzalez at a park in Alameda and that at that time, “the man had a medical emergency.” The report said Gonzalez later died at a hospital.
His family contends he was killed by police who used excessive force.
“The police killed my brother in the same manner that they killed George Floyd,” Gerardo Gonzalez said at a news conference outside the Alameda Police Department.
He said his brother was not posing a threat when he died.
“Alameda police officers murdered my brother Mario,” he said.
He left a 4-year-old son and also was the main caretaker of his 22-year-old brother, who has autism, his family said.
Julia Sherwin, the family’s attorney, said: “It’s strikingly similar to the Floyd case.”
The nearly hour-long video from two officers’ body cameras shows police talking to Gonzalez in a park after receiving 911 calls that he appeared to be disoriented or drunk. Gonzalez seems dazed and struggles to answer questions.
When Gonzalez doesn’t produce any identification, the officers try to force his hands behind his back to handcuff him but he resists and they take him to the ground.
The officers repeatedly ask him for his full name and birthdate.
“We’re going to take care of you, OK, we’re going to take care of you,” one officer says.
“I think you just had too much to drink today, OK? That’s all,” the same officer says. Later, he adds, “Mario, just please stop fighting us.”
Gonzalez, who weighed about 250 pounds, grunts and shouts as he lies facedown on some wood chips while the officers restrain him. One officer puts an elbow on his neck and a knee on his shoulder.
“He’s lifting my whole body weight up,” an officer says at one point.
One officer also appears to put a knee on his back and leaves it there for about four minutes as Gonzalez gasps for air, saying “I didn’t do nothing, OK?”