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Alameda cops cleared by probe in fatal arrest

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Thomas Hawk
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Flickr / Creative Commons

Twenty-six year old Mario Gonzalez died after being pinned to the ground by three Alameda police officers, but an investigation said there was not enough evidence to determine if any of the officers had violated department policies.

The East Bay Times reported that the independent probe by the Renee Public Law Group, which was commissioned by the city, said its investigators were unable to determine if police acted inappropriately because of the limits of body camera footage of the confrontation.

Police attempted to arrest Gonzalez in a public park on suspicion of intoxication. The officers wrestled him to the ground and knelt on his shoulder for five minutes as they attempted to handcuff Gonzalez, who lost consciousness. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Alameda County Chief Forensic Pathologist ruled Gonzalez death a homicide, citing cardiac arrest and several contributing factors, including drug use and obesity.

Last month, the Alameda County District Attorney’s office declined to file charges against any of the officers involved in the arrest. The Gonzalez family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Alameda and the three officers.