Mario Gonzalez's brother insists police footage shows they 'blatantly lied' about his death
Just one day before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a man named Mario Gonzalez died at the hands of police officers with the Alameda Police Department in California.
With the latest rollout of the bodycam footage, Gonzalez's brother Gerardo Gonzalez is pushing back against the police department's claims about his brother's death. During a phone interview with Newsweek, Gerardo Gonzalez insisted that law enforcement took unnecessary actions to escalate the incident that occurred on April 19 even though his brother appeared to pose no particular threat.
According to Gerardo Gonzalez, bodycam footage of the encounter "shows that he was calm, he was tranquil, he was minding his own business. He was not threatening and he was not being violent."
Footage released shows the moments leading up to Gonzalez going limp after police officers pinned him to the ground while handcuffed. As Gonzalez gasped for air, the officers continued to apply pressure to his back with a knee restraint eerily similar to the one Chauvin used to restrain Floyd as he died. The dangerous technique quickly sparked nationwide outrage.
Gerardo Gonzalez noted that the police department claimed his brother died from a "medical emergency after a 'scuffle' with police. However, the bodycam footage appears to suggest otherwise. Because of that, Gerardo believes the law enforcement agency is "blatantly lying" about the nature of his brother's death.
Gerardo said, "We were initially told that he died at the hospital due to medical complications after a physical altercation with police officers. Immediately, I thought: how does a 26-year-old man with no history of chronic medical conditions just suddenly die after an altercation?"
"What we saw on the video was that the medical emergency was induced by the officers being on top of him," he said. "There was no scuffle, there was no fight. The body camera footage shows they were blatantly lying."
He added, "It makes you wonder, how many other things have been swept under the rug? How many times has this happened where the body camera footage wasn't released?"