Mario Gonzalez Death Ruled a Homicide

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Alameda County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office finally released the Coroner’s and autopsy report concerning Mario Gonzalez, who was killed by Alameda, California, police on April 19, 2021.  Mario was unarmed, non-threatening, and minding his own business in a park when Alameda police arrived.  Officers ultimately forced Mario face down in the dirt and got on top of him, pinning him in a prone position with their body weight, for over five minutes until he died.  At one point, an officer even said Mario was lifting the officer’s entire body weight.  Mario died from mechanical or restraint asphyxia during the incident.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP represent Mario and his five-year-old son, also named Mario.  Julia Sherwin says, “The autopsy report was completed on September 25 and still not released for almost three more months.  There is no legitimate reason for the Sheriff’s office to hide the results this long.  Mario’s family and friends, and the community, deserved transparency from the start.”

The Coroner ruled Mario’s death a homicide, death at the hands of another.  He was killed by the Alameda police officers who restrained him.  The toxicology report found a recreational amount of methamphetamine, 907 ng/mL, in Mario’s blood.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that normal recreational concentrations of methamphetamine in people who are stopped for driving while under the influence of meth can be up to 2500 ng/mL.  Additionally, methamphetamine has a very low fatality risk of 1 in 353,000 doses.  Meth did not kill Mario, the officers did.

While little Mario will obtain justice and accountability for his father’s death in a federal civil rights lawsuit, it is the Alameda County District Attorney’s job to prosecute the officers who killed Mario, in criminal court.

The Coroner’s report is available here.

Founded in 1998 by Michael Haddad and Julia Sherwin, Haddad & Sherwin LLP is an Oakland law firm representing people in serious injury and wrongful death civil rights, police misconduct, and jail misconduct cases. For more information, visit


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