Breaking: Anger grows as new video shows US police kneeled on Latino man for 5 minutes before he died
US police are facing growing anger after a newly released body-camera video showed a California police officer put his knee on the back of a 26 year-old Latino man for about five minutes during an arrest as he eventually died of asphyxiation.
According to footage of the April 19 incident, which was released late on Tuesday, police officers in Alameda, California, pinned Mario Gonzalez, to the ground before he became unresponsive during an arrest last week.
Gonzalez was later pronounced dead in a hospital that day, according to a statement by the city.
Police officers had been dispatched to a park to check on Gonzalez after residents reported that a man was loitering and appeared to be talking to himself.
The deadly incident has drawn scrutiny in part because the slain Latino man appeared to pose no imminent threat to the officers when they arrived at the scene.
Gonzalez is heard in the video telling officers, “I didn’t do nothing, OK?”
Law enforcement experts raised serious questions about US police tactics, saying, “There is going to be a very intensive inquiry on this.”
“It is rare that a non-threatening, non-belligerent person ends up dying like this. … What was the officers’ justification for detaining him? This individual was not a threat to the officers,” Ed Obayashi, a legal advisor and veteran police trainer said.
An attorney for Gonzalez’s family said the young man’s death was “completely avoidable.”
Julia Sherwin said the police officers should never have laid hands on him, let alone put him prone on the ground and push down on him — something that law enforcement officers should know creates “a very high risk of death by restraint asphyxiation.”
Experts said the fatal police arrest was a complete violation of all generally accepted law enforcement policies and training.
Gonzalez’s fatal police arrest echoed George Floyd deadly case, in which former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the African-American man’s neck for about nine minutes as Floyd gasped, “I can’t breathe.”
Chauvin was convicted of murder last week — a day after Gonzalez’s death.