It’s appalling no one charged for Gonzalez’s death

I am appalled that no criminal charges will be brought against the Alameda Police Department (APD) officers who killed Mario Gonzalez.

The body cam footage can still be seen on YouTube. Mario Gonzalez was overweight and might have been drunk or on drugs, but he was alive and behaving peacefully when the APD arrived. Despite any evidence of any crime, they detained him, pinned him down on the ground, and secured his hands behind his back. While he lay there moaning and pleading for help because he couldn’t breathe, they continued to press him down until he lost consciousness. They pinned him down and killed him.

Watch the video. Mario Gonzalez was killed by the APD.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley admitted this truth. Her official statement regarding the case she wrote, “I want to acknowledge the pain and concerns in our community over the killing of Mr. Gonzalez.” The killing. He was killed. But in her 40-page report O’Malley concluded that the officers should not be charged because they were authorized to “use reasonable force to arrest or detain someone.” How can an action that led to death be deemed “reasonable”?

Once again in this country police officers will go unpunished for killing an innocent civilian. The APD officers not only went unpunished, but they were placed on paid leave, paid to sit at home and do nothing for a full year. I assume they’ll soon be allowed to go back to work, free to kill again.

I hoped for the past year that the officers would pay some price and Alameda would be looked to as an example of a community that is reforming their police department. But it turns out our cute little island city is not special at all. We are just as bad as all the other places where this has happened. I feel sick to my stomach.

— Derrick Roorda