Sloppy reporting

The Sun’s reporting on the murder of Mario Gonzalez by the Alameda Police Department (APD) officers has been deplorable. For anyone who has watched the police body-cam videos, this was not an “altercation.” Mr. Gonzalez had committed no crime and was endangering no one when he was set upon by two armed officers — that is, he was attacked by officers who a) attempted to handcuff him (for no apparent reason) then b) forced him to the ground (because he refused to be handcuffed) and, finally, suffocated him (“asphyxiation”) by sitting on his chest.

The Sun would do us all a favor in its reporting on this case by referencing the FULL video and by naming the 11-minute “incident” what it was — an unprovoked assault on Mr. Gonzalez.

The Alameda Police Department are making a distressingly frequent habit of assaulting and/or arresting civilians (Shelby Gattenby in 2018, Mali Watkins in 2020, and now Mario Gonzalez in 2021). Where is the sense of outrage from the city’s leadership at the police who are acting in their — and our —names? And why does the Sun implicitly apologize for the police by whitewashing their arrogant, aggressive, abusive behavior?

— Bob Barde

Editor’s note: As a newspaper, the Alameda Sun is bound by the ethics of journalism. Therefore, we do not include our own opinions when reporting the news. Labeling Mario Gonzalez’s death a murder or an attack would not be factually accurate under the scope of journalism. According to the dictionary, a murder is defined as the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. Because Gonzalez’s death was not deemed unlawful by the Alameda County District Attorney, we as a news source cannot label it a murder. Also, an altercation is defined as a “noisy dispute by at least two people.” Even if Gonzalez was not an aggressor the incident can still be labeled an altercation. The Sun tries to provide only factual statements in news reporting. However, opinions are appropriate for our public opinion section, which we welcome.