While the investigation into yesterday’s in-custody death is ongoing, the Alameda Police Department is able to provide preliminary information about this tragic incident.
The man who died in-custody yesterday has been identified by the Alameda County Coroner as Mario Arenales Gonzalez, a 26-year-old resident of Oakland. The cause of Mr. Gonzalez’s death is not yet known, as an autopsy is pending. The cause of Mr. Gonzalez’s medical emergency is also not yet known. Preliminary information indicates that after the officers made contact with him, there was a scuffle as officers attempted to place his hands behind his back. Officers did not use any weapons during the scuffle with Mr. Gonzales.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the primary criminal investigation into this incident. The Alameda County Chief of Police and Sheriffs Association has a policy that persons who die while in custody or under an officer’s control constitute a critical incident. In response to this policy, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office was notified and sent personnel to conduct a separate, parallel investigation.
The City will also contract with an outside investigator to conduct an administrative investigation into this incident. Three officers involved in the incident with Mr. Gonzalez have been placed on paid administrative leave, per the Department’s standard procedure in these types of cases.
Video from the officers’ Body Worn Cameras (BWC) have been turned over to investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney. The Alameda Police Department will coordinate releasing BWC video to the public with the investigating agencies, which must interview all involved parties prior to release. We anticipate releasing the video after interviews are completed which is anticipated to be by the end of next week.
“The protection of human life is our primary duty as police officers. The loss of Mr. Gonzalez is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones,” stated Interim Police Chief Randy Fenn.