3 Alameda Officers Face Charges in Death of Mario Gonzalez

Three years after police officers in Northern California pinned a man face down for about five minutes as he begged for relief, prosecutors announced that the officers would face charges of involuntary manslaughter in the man’s death.

The charges against Eric McKinley, James Fisher and Cameron Leahy, all with the Alameda Police Department at the time, in the death of Mario Gonzalez, 26, were announced on Thursday, after a review by the Alameda County district attorney’s Public Accountability Unit.

The county’s previous district attorney closed the investigation into the officers in 2022, saying that the evidence did not justify criminal charges. But Pamela Price, who was elected district attorney later that year, reopened the case a year ago.

The new charges were announced just days after the county’s Registrar of Voters announced that a recall campaign against Ms. Price had submitted enough signatures to proceed.

The incident that ended in Mr. Gonzalez’s death began when the officers responded to a call that a man was loitering and behaving strangely in a public park on April 19, 2021.

Mr. Gonzalez was wandering at the edge of the park, near a row of houses. Body camera footage captured Officer McKinley approaching Mr. Gonzalez in a friendly manner, asking him if he was OK. Mr. Gonzalez spoke incoherently, standing near two shopping baskets of liquor bottles.

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