OAKLAND (KPIX) — Students, parents and youth activists rallied and marched from Oakland to the footsteps of the Alameda Police Department on Monday, demanding justice for the death of Mario Gonzalez while in police custody.
The organizers said they had to do something to try to prevent another incident like this from happening again.READ MORE: Farms, Ranches In Southern Santa Clara County Grapple With Worsening Drought
Just in front of the Oscar Grant mural at the Fruitvale Bart station, protesters gathered to help bring justice for Mario Gonzalez. The protest was organized by Oakland Tech’s Latinx Student Union and Youth Activists for Alameda but those young and old came to show their support.
“It happened in our backyard,” says parent Sergio Arroyo. “It’s our responsibility to stand up, back the family up and be here in solidarity with all the other families that have lost a lives one due to police violence.”
Roughly a hundred people then made their way to the Alameda Police Department.
The incident in question happened on April 19th, when police got a call of a man acting strangely. Police said officers tried talking to him for about 10 minutes, then attempted to handcuff him. They eventually had him face down on the ground for 5 minutes with an officer holding his knee on Gonzalez’s shoulder area.READ MORE: 5 Boats Burn, 4 Destroyed in the Delta Near Bethel Island
Police say the 26-year-old Oakland man suffered a medical emergency after getting into a scuffle with officers. The organizers of this event are demanding the officers be arrested and for thorough police reform to happen.
Sofia Coffin, with the Youth Activists of Alameda has another demand.
“We hope to see some sort of apology, something to Mario’s family because nothing can make up for what they did,” says Coffin.
Protesters say they can only hope there will be change when it comes to interactions with police and brown and black communities, especially for the youth in the Bay Area.
Arroyo adds, “What do I tell my son. That he’s going to be looked at as a threat from the time he’s 12 years old to 50 years old? I would not be a good father if I was not preparing my son for what’s to come for him.”MORE NEWS: COVID: Service Industry Employers Lament Lack of People Willing to Fill Open Jobs
There are 3 separate investigations and an autopsy being conducted, but results have yet to be released.