Attorneys for the family of Mario Gonzalez, a Latino man who died after an Alameda officer put a knee on his back and neck for more than four minutes, are asking the U.S. attorney general to conduct a federal civil rights investigation of the Bay Area city’s police department.
Julie Sherwin and Michael Haddad, who represent the 26-year-old’s mother, brothers and 4-year-old son, sent a letter to Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland asking him to initiate a civil rights inquiry into Gonzalez’s death and the policies and training of the Alameda Police Department, noting this is the second such death involving the department in recent years.
“Mario died as a result of the officers’ prone weight restraint on him,” Sherwin wrote in the letter sent Monday to Garland.
A similar death occurred in December 2018, Sherwin wrote. Shelby Gattenby, an Iraq war veteran, died while being detained by Alameda police after they pinned him in a prone position and used a stun gun on him multiple times.
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